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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Experts say 1.6m children die of Pneumonia annually, Sanofi reiterates commitment to Nigeria

Experts at the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia (GCACP) have decried that estimated 155 million children suffer Pneumonia while 1.6 million die annually, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as Sanofi Nigeria has reiterated its commitment towards the populace and provision of quality healthcare, NaijaAgroNet reports.

GCACP experts also informed NaijaAgroNet that almost all of the estimated 1.6 million child deaths occur in developing countries with most concentrated in seven countries, namely India, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As said by Head of Public Affairs, Sanofi – Nigeria and Ghana, Oladimeji Agbolade in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet as the world marked World Pneumonia Day in Lagos-Nigeria, noted that Sanofi has strengthened its commitment in the fight against pneumonia with the Pediatric Initiative tagged ‘Healthy Children, Happy Children’ in partnership with the Pediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN).

Speaking on this initiative, Medical Director, Sanofi Nigeria and Ghana, Dr. Fifen Inoussa said, “Pediatrics is a priority for Africa because one child out of four in the world is African and 50 per cent of the worldwide infant mortality occurs on this continent. The Sanofi Pediatric Initiative corresponds to the strong desire to reinforce our commitment to child healthcare.”

For the President, Paediatric Association of Nigeria, Prof. Adebiyi Olowu, Pneumonia is one of the preventable but major causes of child mortality in Nigeria and it is essential that parents, guardians and care givers take essential precautions to ensure good health-seeking behaviour.

He also urged that preventive efforts such as proper nutrition, exclusive breast feeding, hand-washing and routine immunizations be emphasized to avoid pneumonia.

Stressing that pneumonia is a killer Prof Olowu called on government, relevant agencies and stakeholders to make concerted efforts that would significantly improve on the health of children.
Dr. Amina Biobaku of Isalu Hospital, Ogba, Lagos, one of the numerous beneficiaries of the PAN medical education programs on pneumonia supported by Sanofi, testified that the training has positively impacted her clinical practice.

Estelle Dogbo, Product Manager at Sanofi said “The Pediatrics Initiative which adapts healthcare offer to children relies on three commitments. The first commitment is the development of medicines and vaccines offer adapted to pediatric care. The second commitment involves provision of quality medical information and dedicated training to healthcare professionals by way of continual medical education programs in pediatric topics. The third commitment entails the deployment of awareness campaigns to the general public."

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Pix: L-R:  Dr. Inoussa Fifen, Medical Director, Sanofi; Dr. Ekanem Ekure, Consultant Paediatrician LUTH, Prof. Adebiyi Olowu, President Paediatric Association of Nigeria; Dr. Dorothy Esangbedo, Consultant Paediatrician, President elect Pan African Society of Paediatrics; Prof. Adegoke Falade, Consultant Paediatrician UCH Ibadan; and Head of Public Affairs, Sanofi, Mr. Agbolade Dimeji during Sanofi  World Pneumonia Day celebration at  Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, recently.
2. L-R: Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline, Lekan Asuni; Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad; Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; and International Vaccine Access Centre Country Program Lead, Dr. Chizoba Wonodi; during the 2014 World Pneumonia Day which held on Wednesday, 12th November, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

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