Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health @ Scale Project (PSN-PACFaH) an NGO, has urged northern state governments to domesticate the new standard treatment guidelines for pneumonia and diarrhoea.
Dr Edwin Akpotor, the Senior Programme Officer of PSN-PACFaH @ Scale Project made the call on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said domestication of the new guidelines would ensure drastic reduction of childhood mortality rate.
Akpotor, who identified childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea as contributing 23 per cent of under five deaths in the country, blamed it on the lack of domestication and implementation of policies.
The programme officer further identified North East and North West region as having the highest early childhood mortality in the country based on the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS).
He said the survey showed Zamfara as having the highest early childhood mortality rate of 210 per 1,000 live births, followed by Kano State which accounted for 203 per 1,000 births, Jigawa; 192 per 1,000 live births and Gombe, with 162 deaths per a thousand live births.
Akpotor, who described the figure as unacceptable, urged the respective state governments to ensure that Amoxicillin Dispersable Tablets and co-pack Zinc-Low Oral Rehydration Suspension (ORS) for childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea were available and affordable at all health facilities.
He added that “the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) identifies Zamfara as having the highest early childhood mortality rate of 210 per 1,000 births followed by Kano State with 203 per 1,000 births, Jigawa with 192, Gombe, 162 and Kebbi 174 per 1,000 live births. Others are Bauchi; 161, Katsina; 135, Sokoto; 119, Taraba; 105 and Yobe with 102 per 1,000 live births.”
He stressed that “as the Federal Ministry of Health Health (FMoH) disseminates the National Treatment Guidelines (NSTG) and Nigeria Essential Medicine List (NEML) in North East and North Western states, I urge respective state governments to domesticate the two policy documents. The state governments should also ensure the new guidelines for the management and treatment of childhood killer diseases — pneumonia and diarrhoea — are domesticated and implemented accordingly.”
He said Only Kaduna State out of the seven states in the North West has domesticated the treatment guideline for childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea, while none of the six states in North East having the highest burden of mortality has domesticated the document.
“We believe that if all the states domesticate and fully implement the policy, the high mortality, preventable and unacceptable mortality rate, will drop drastically,” he added.
The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) on July 27 disseminated the NSTG and NEML to key stakeholders in the North East and North West zones of the country.
Mrs Beauty Okologo, the Deputy Director, Food and Drug Services Department of FMoH, described the revised policies as having the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended protocol for the management of childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea.
According to her, it is expected of the respective state governments to ensure timely implementation of the policy document and ensure availability and use of commodities recommended for the management of childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea.