The Permanent Secretary, ministry of Health, Abdullaziz Abdullahi has decried that the rate of under-five children’s death recorded in Nigeria is unacceptable and reiterated the need to scale up high impact interventions that would address the major killers of children whithin the age range and Nigerians in general.
The permanent secretary said this during the launch of National Pneumonia Control Strategy and Implementation Plan (NPCSIP), developed by the ministry to reduce the menace of pneumonia related morbidities and mortalities among children under the age of five years in Nigeria.
In a statement on Monday by Enefaa Bob-Manuel Manuel, spokesperson of the ministry, the minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire while launching the plan, revealed that the pneumonia remains one of the world’s leading infectious disease killer of children which annually claim about 800,000 lives of children under the age of five, despite the disease being preventable, and treatable.
Ehanire stated that the highest burden of pneumonia is unfortunately concentrated in the world’s poorest countries. According to him, the most deprived and marginalised children suffer most, especially those from poor families in the low and middle income countries are likely to die due to the social and economic inequalities which lead to poor access to basic essential health service.
The Minister noted that the government in the effort to address the challenges of under five children, adopted the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) as the main thrust of the child survival strategy, provision of essential vaccines and the campaign for exclusive breast-feeding practice which “is yielding positive results.”
The Minister informed that due to the pneumonia ravages in the country, the ministry of health in collaboration with the “every Breath counts coalition, UNICEF and save the children and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors, held cross- sectorial and inter-ministerial consultative meeting to identity barriers in pneumonia control in Nigeria, and articulated the first edition of the National Pneumonia Control strategy and plan.
Ehanire therefore launched the document, and urged “Every Breath Count Coalition”, all partners and stakeholders working with the ministry to implement the National Integrated Pneumonia Control Strategy and Implementation Plan.