By Hajara Leman
An international non-governmental organisation, Save the Children, has called on Gombe State Government to set guidelines for the prevention and treatment of pneumonia.
Dr Joseph Serike, Maternal Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) Advisor of the organisation, made the appeal in Gombe on Thursday.
Serike spoke on: “Call to action on childhood pneumonia in Gombe state’’ during the Fourth State Council on Health meeting.
“Pneumonia is a deadly disease, especially for children in developing countries. It is a severe infection that affects lungs and makes it difficult for the lungs to absorb oxygen,” he said.
He said the treatment for most types of serious pneumonia was usually antibiotics, which typically costs less than N150 per dose.
“In Nigeria, only an estimated one of every five children with pneumonia receives appropriate antibiotics.
“Health policies and services should be designed to provide children prompt and effective treatment for pneumonia,” he said.
Serike said tackling pneumonia required a strong and accessible health system that would reach the most disadvantaged children.
According to him, governments need to make quality primary health care a priority for every community which will go a long way in reducing the problem of pneumonia.
“Case management strategies can help to ensure that children receive the right treatment for pneumonia quickly,” he said.
According to him, in Nigeria, only an estimated one out of every five children with pneumonia receives appropriate antibiotics, adding that health policies and services should be designed to provide children with prompt and effective treatment for pneumonia.
“Ensure that community health workers are trained and equipped to diagnose and treat pneumonia,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nov. 2 every year is set aside to commemorate the World Pneumonia Day.