Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health @Scale Project (PSN-PACFAH@Scale) has solicited the support of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) on reduction of maternal and under-five deaths.
Mr Ibrahim Ayuba, Programme Manager PSN-PACFAH@Scale made the call when the organisation paid an advocacy visit on NANNM on Saturday in Abuja.
Ayuba specifically noted areas of collaboration to include routine immunization, increased access to Childhood Pneumonia and Diarrhoea management in Nigeria as well as family planning.
Other areas of collaboration is the inclusion of Community Pharmacists (CPs) and Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors (PPMVs) in the Task Shifting and Task Sharing (TSTS) policy of the government to ensure efficient Healthcare delivery.
Ayuba lamented the poor access to life-saving drugs, blaming such lapses as contributing to 854,000 of the 7m annual under five live-birth mortality as revealed by 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).
He, however, emphasised that mainstreaming the use of Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablet (AMX DT) for Pneumonia and co-pack Zinc/Low Osmolarity Oral Rehydration Salt for Diarrhoea, would save the lives of many innocent children from these diseases.
Ayuba specifically noted that based on the 2013 NDHS about 196,420 of the 854,000 annual under five deaths in Nigeria are caused by Pneumonia and Diarrhoea.
According to him, Pneumonia and Diarrhoea accounted for the second and third leading causes of under five mortality globally.
“We call on NANNM to join the advocacy for increased access to Childhood Pneumonia and Diarrhoea management in Nigeria, especially in hard-to-reach communities where there are no or little number of skilled health workers.
“By doing that we can save more innocent lives by coming together,“ Ayuba noted.
The Programme Manager further solicited the support of NANNM in ensuring the inclusion of CPs and the PPMVs in the ongoing review of the National TSTS policy.
He says “TSTS policy excluded the private sector which according to the NDHS, provide about 60% of health services to Nigerians.
“To achieve Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria, it is very obvious that the government and all relevant stakeholders must mainstream the private sector in the ongoing review of national TSTS policy.
“We call on the NANNM to Support CPs and PPMVs inclusion in order to provide expanded family planning and other primary health care services.
“This will save the lives of our mothers and girls of reproductive age from vices such as abortion, drug abuse among others,”.
Mr Abdulrafiu Adeniji, the President of NANNM described the focus of PSN-PACFAH@Scale with regard to eradication of childhood mortality Family Planning and TSTS as a welcome development, saying that they are key in ensuring universal health coverage.
Adeniji emphasised that no health practitioner is indispensable, adding that all professionals must work together to ensure a better health for the masses.
The president, who identified pharmacists as their professional colleagues, emphasised that they need to work together to ensure that patients get the desired care. (NAN)