Governments, Healthcare Providers, ₩arents 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) who made the call Thursday in Kaduna said that the full implementation of the two policies will effectively address over 400,000 child mortality annually in Nigeria to pneumonia and diarrhea.
They however urged stakeholders to avoid self medication and home therapy and adopt amoxicillin dispersible tablet as first line treatment for childhood pneumonia and cobalt-zinc and low osmolarity oral rehydration salt solution for childhood diarrhea.
Acting Program Director (Strategy) Pacfah, David Akpotor said over 1.5 million children under five years die annually worldwide from pneumonia and diarrhea, adding that the figure in Nigeria is recently put at 400,000. “Launching the document and including the drugs for managing childhood pneumonia and diarrhea 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. The 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. The commodities are produced locally in Nigeria so they are available and accessible.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Director Health, Pharmacy Food and Dry Service Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Beauty Okoloko said the policy was launched on July 20, 2017 to address the health challenges. “The document taught us the treatment protocol of care for the country to ensure a standard.
“The essential medicines are of good quality, available and affordable. The dissemination involved funding, but those drugs must be evidence based to prove their safety. We hope with the partnership established there would be dissemination to the grassroots level because that is where there are challenges with accessing effective drugs and we are going to monitor the program to ensure effective implementation”.