A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) has urged government to give adequate attention to treatment of childhood pneumonia and diarrhea.The CSOs made the call at a news conference to commemorate the International Day of Families, marked on May 15 annually.
The theme for this year is “Families, Education and well being”, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution to reflect the importance international communities attached to families.
It is a day aimed at raising awareness on the role of families in promoting early child education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth. It is also an opportunity to promote awareness on issues relating to families and increase knowledge of some issues that affect families.
The CSOs, which included Association for the Advancement in Family Planning (AAFP), Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) among others said the two ailments posed serious concern to parents and families.
Dr. David Akpotor, Senior Programme Officer of PSN-PACFaH, said the theme for this year focused on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of the society.
Akpotor identified the diseases as major killers of children under five years globally.He noted that malaria, another killer of under five children is gradually becoming a thing of the past in some countries.
According to him, there is an urgent need for government to implement similar strategy that is used in reducing malaria index in the country .
He also advised the government to adopt current WHO and UNICEF approved first line treatment and ensure availability of treatment commodities.
The officer emphasized that there could not be healthy, happy and productive families without healthy children, noting that “whatever affects the mother, women, girls, children also affects the family at large.There cannot be well being when health is absent. Health according to WHO is defined as not only the absence of infirmity and disease but also a state of physical, mental and social well-being.
There is need to address issues that affect the well-being of Nigerian families and society”,he said.
“There is urgent need to mainstream childhood pneumonia and diarrhea in the national and state health policies. This is one of the ways to drive down their mortality rates in our country and guarantee the health and well-being and productiveness of families” , he concluded.