The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has flagged off the 2019 World Pneumonia and Prematurity Day, as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the event.
Speaking, at a press conference organised to mark the event, in Abuja, the Minister said that the World Pneumonia Day was set up by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia in 2008 with the aim of raising awareness for the underrated killer disease and advocating for affordable solutions that will save millions of young lives from Pneumonia.
He stated that Pneumonia takes the life of one child every 20 seconds somewhere in the World. It is estimated that it kills about 2,500 children every day and 15% of all under-five deaths in 2015 according to UNICEF in 2016. Pneumonia is often referred to as the “forgotten killer” and this is because it has not received the required Global attention.
The recent efforts in developing , the Nigerian Integrated Pneumonia Control strategy and Implementation Plan through Collaborative efforts made by the Ministry and Every “Breath Counts Coalition” will hopefully go a long way in reducing pneumonia deaths among the under-five in Nigeria, the Minister added.
He noted that Pneumonia and Prematurity can be defeated if consistent and integrated approaches are adopted to prevent, protect, and care for the children. He also explained that evidence from the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia shows that Pneumonia deaths could be reduced if preventive interventions that protects against Pneumonia are adopted such as effective case management, full immunization against the communicable diseases and many others.
Ehanire further assured of the Ministry’s commitment in scaling up high impact interventions and advocacy, human resource and capacity development, perinatal care, routine immunization, exclusive breast feeding to curtail major childhood diseases. He appreciated partners: UNICEF, WHO, Save the Children International, Clinton Health Access Initiative and many others.
Head Media and Public Relations