The Technical working group on Childhood Killer Diseases, known as Niger State Action Committee on CKD, has expressed concern over the inadequate funding to IMCI, which resulted into stock out of Amoxillin DT and Zn-LO-ORS contributing to increased possibilities of Under-5) death in Niger State.
The NSACCKD, TWG meeting, which was held via zoom in Niger State, was coordinated by the State Ministry of Health and State Primary Health Care Development Agency with the support of the Partnership For Advocacy In Child and Family Health At Scale through Centre for Communication and Reproductive Health, Bida Niger State, expressed fear that there will be likelihood of increased death of under-5.
The group through the Project Director of the CCRHS, Dr. Aliyu Yabagi Shehu, said Primary Health Care Centers across the state have stock out of Amoxycillin DT and Zinc LO-ORS, particularly at this critical period when 2013 NDHS survey of 2013 relays that out of 195,000 children, 19,000 will die before their fifth birth day.
According to Dr. Yabagi: “We fear that there will be increased in death of under 5 children from Pneumonia and Diarrhea illness due lack of releases (funding shortages) to the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses/Child Killer Diseases to enhance adequate provision of Amoxillin DT and Zn-LO-ORS, which is the World Health Organisation recommended single line treatment to Pneumonia and Diarrhea across Niger State Health facilities.”
The Project Director, during the meetings, called on members to deliberate on the tasks as contained in the Terms of Reference of the group, activities around Niger IMCI/CKD programmes and Policy Implementation resulting into Under -5 mortality, hence reflect on issues related to U-5 death in Niger State.
He noted that “if Amoxillin DT. and Zn-Lo-ORS are not effectively and adequately supplied to the facilities in Niger State this will have catastrophic consequences for U-5 children in Niger state, adding that there is need for improved funding releases to health sector, specifically IMCI/CKD to enhance adequate provision of Amoxicillin D.T and Zinc LO-ORS at all times to protect the health and safety of children under five (U-5) in Niger State.
“We call for urgent and prompt release of funds to IMCI/CKD unit to adequately and effectively provide Amoxicilin DT and Zinc LO-ORS across PHCs for the treatment of Pneumonia and Diarrhea until the end of 2021.
“Moreover, additional funds are needed for the COVID-19 response to protect HCWs and women accessing services with their children in the State and conflict-affected LGAs of the state.
“To protect the lives of the under 5 (U-5), Niger state is required to take measures to avert the projections of NDHIS survey of 2013 which says that out of 195,000 children, 19,000 will die before their 5th birth day and that Pneumonia and Diarrhoea seen as a leading cause of U-5 death in Niger State and Nigeria at large.”
Furthermore, Yabagi while calling for improved investment in the health sector to address the challenges facing not just Childhood Killer Diseases but all reproductive health issues in the state, said “for the State to avert 2013 NDHIS survey projections, there is the need for improved allocations and releases to IMCI/CKD, hence adequate provision of Amoxicillin DT and Zn-LO-ORS for the treatment of pneumonia and diarrhea”.
He noted that despite Niger State Government’s commitment to providing Universal health for Nigerlites, majority of the PHCs lack Amoxycillin DT and Zn-LO-ORS, which are known to be the recommended WHO single line treatment for pneumonia and diarrhoea.
He said: “Although, the state has agreed to improve the financing for the health sector; especially primary health care, no releases were recorded for IMCI in 2020 and the allocation to entire health sector in 2021 budget on the other has fallen drastically amidst covid-19 pandemic.
“All childhood illnesses are categorized and budgeted under child health. From 2015 to date there has been budgetary allocations year in and out but are not backed up by releases. All the activities around IMCI/childhood killer disease are mostly funded by development partners.”
The CKD TWG therefore called on the government to show more commitment on prompt release of funds and adequate supply of Amoxicilin DT and Zn- LO-ORS towards tackling the rising folds of U-5 Mortality in Niger State.
They also called on all stakeholders to lend their voices to this important issue to advance the health of the mothers and children in Niger State:
They said: “We encourage all stakeholders (Media, Religious Group, Traditional Leaders and CSOs) to be a voice in ensuring that universal access to health care is available for the Under five (U-5) and investment in provision Amoxicillin DT and Zn-Lo-ORS which are WHO recommended treatment for Pneumonia and Diarrhea are available in Niger State health facilities.”