Northern Nigeria Is Threatened By Child Killer Diseases – PSN-PACFaH | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Northern Nigeria Is Threatened By Child Killer Diseases – PSN-PACFaH

Posted: Jul 28, 2015 at 7:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Juliet Oyoyo –  Kaduna


The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PSN-PACFaH) has said that states in northern Nigeria was threatened by child-Killer diseases such as Pneumonia and diarrhoea and malaria, which accounted for the death of about 400,000 children under the age of five in Nigeria.

PSN-PACFaH made the disclosure in Kaduna on Saturday during a ‘One-day Policy Dialogue’ with key stakeholders in the health sector with a view to nipping the menace in the bud.

The policy dialogue was aimed at brainstorming on how to reduce the child mortality rate currently in three digits to single digit as obtainable in other developed countries and some African countries.

PSN Programme Director, Remi Adeseun who briefing newsmen, decried the poor level of awareness and treatment of pneumonia and said that his team was in Kaduna to see how child killer diseases particularly pneumonia and diarrhoea can be reduced through the appropriate treatment with the help of the Nigerian government.

He said; “PSN-PACFaH 2013 report showed over 1.5million death of children under five years old caused by pneumonia and diarrhoea. That same year in Nigeria we have 200,000 death from pneumonia and 177,000 arising from diarrhoea, which has even currently. So, about 400,000 children Nigerian do not live to celebrate their five years old birthday.

“Nurses, Doctors and Pharmacists from across Kaduna have come together to deliberate on how we can improve the health status especially that of Kaduna’s children. Kaduna has an unenviable position like many other states in Nigeria of having triple digit under five mortality rate, meaning about 185 children out of every 1,000 children born will not live to see their fifth birthday which is unacceptable.

“At national average, the figure is about 128. That is rather too high because we have African countries that have just about 15 and about three to five in developed countries.

“We want the Kaduna State government and relevant stakeholders in the Health Ministry to work together to see how we can improve on our health status through the appropriate treatment of child killer diseases. We have to go beyond the figure. Let us see human face”.

The PSN Programme Director said that the state government needed to be motivated to take concrete steps to address some issues that would lead to the reduction in child mortality and the adoption of Zinc-ORS as first-line therapy for the treatment of childhood diarrhoea.

He added that it was about time the Kaduna state Government created specific projects that would make funds available for the purchase of Amoxicillin dispersible tablets as agreed at United Nations Commission on life saving commodities because the Ministry of Health was always complaining of inadequate funds to get those needed drugs.

He urged Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, to take responsibility of training first-line heath workers who would administer the agreed life saving commodities at the grassroots.

In his response, the Director of Public Health in the Kaduna state Ministry of Health, Bitrus Markus said that the advocacy was timely because the state was already ahead on the treatment of childhood diseases.

He said that “Just last year we were able to review our national health and the partnership we are witnessing today was part of it. So the items they brought are timely for the intervention.

“The Governor has already selected 255 health facilities treatment centres in every ward. The state government has trained and still training health workers who are within the communities so that they can respond appropriately whenever the need arises”, he said.