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Published On: Mon, Aug 13th, 2018

Expert says pneumonia, diarrhea responsible for 23% of underage deaths in Nigeria

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From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

The Senior official of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health @ Scale Project (PSN-PACFaH) Dr. David Akpotor has disclosed that pneumonia and diarrhea contribute 23 percent of underage deaths in the country. He stated this in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
Dr, Akpotor said that in view of the frightened number of deaths there is urgent need for the northern state governments to domesticate the new standard treatment guidelines for pneumonia and diarrhoea.
Akpotor further identified the North East and North West regions as having the highest early child mortality in the country based on the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), while identifying Zamfara as having the highest rate of 210 per 1,000 live births followed by Kano which accounted for 203 per 1,000 births, Jigawa 192 and Gombe 162 deaths per a thousand live birth respectively. According to him,
“2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) reveals Zamfara as having the highest early childhood mortality rate of 210 per 1,000 birth followed by Kano which accounted for 203 per 1,000 birth, Jigawa 192, Gombe 162 and Kebbi 174 per 1,000 deaths respectively. “Others are Bauchi 161,Katsina 135, Sokoto 119, Taraba 105 and Yobe 102 per 1,000 live births thousand life birth respectively.
“As the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has disseminated the National Treatment Guidelines (NSTG) and the Nigeria Essential Medicine List (NEML) in the region, I urge the respective governments to domesticate the two policy documents.
“They should also ensure the new guidelines for the management and treatment of childhood killer diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea are domesticated and implemented accordingly.
“Out of the seven states in the North West, only Kaduna has domesticated the treatment guideline for childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea while none of the six states in North East has domesticated the document even they have the highest burden of mortality. Describing the burden as unacceptable.”
Akpotor said that domestication of the guidelines would ensure drastic reduction in child mortality while urging the respective states government to ensure Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablet and co-pack Zinc-Low Osmolarity Oral Rehydration Salt for childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea are available and affordable at all health facilities

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