By AbdulRaheem Aodu Kaduna
Governments, healthcare providers, parents and other health stakeholders have been tasked on full implementation of Nigeria Standard Treatment Guidelines and Nigeria Essential Medicines List. Federal Ministry of Health and Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFAH) made the call yesterday in Kaduna, saying the full implementation of the two policies “will eff ectively address over 400, 000 child mortality annually in Nigeria to pneumonia and diarrhoea.
” Th ey, however, urged stakeholders to avoid self medication and home therapy and adopt amoxicillin dispersible tablet as fi rst line treatment for childhood pneumonia and cobalt-zinc and low osmolarity oral rehydration salt solution for childhood diarrhea. Acting Programme Director (Strategy), PACFAH), David Akpotor, said over 1.5 million children under fi ve years die annually worldwide from pneumonia and diarrhea, adding that the fi gure in Nigeria is recently put at 400, 000.
“Launching the document and including the drugs for managing childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea would lead to drastic reduction in mortality from the two diseases. “We want the parents to prevent self medication and home therapy and take the baby to the healthcare facility whenever there is any case of the diseases. Th e policy was signed in 2011 and the implementation is starting six years later. We did advocacy engagement in various levels to ensure implementation which is the essence of this dissemination in Northwest zone; we plan to go to the Southwest zone and other zones and states across the country.
“We need the support of other stakeholders to ensure that government back up the policy by allocating funds and timely release of the fund to procure the drugs, for the healthcare providers to prescribe the commodities and for the parents to use it appropriately. Th e commodities are produced locally in Nigeria so they are available and accessible.”