Kenya unveils new measures to curb pneumonia deaths among infants
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya
Nairobi, Nov. 12, 2017 (AltAfrika)-Kenyan will implement a raft of strategies that include universal immunisation and introduction of new drugs to contain infant deaths linked to pneumonia, officials said on Sunday during an occasion to mark World Pneumonia Day.
Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Health Cleopa Mailu said the government had “developed a sound policy framework to guide prevention and treatment of pneumonia that kills an estimated 19,000 Kenyan children annually”.
Pneumonia is ranked among leading cause of deaths among children under five in Kenya though the country has made progress in combating the disease in the last four years.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that Kenya reduced under-five mortalities linked to pneumonia from 19,000 in 2012 to 10,507 in 2016 thanks to immunization, better nutrition and early diagnoses.
Mailu said the fight against pneumonia dovetails with a national action plan to reduce infant mortality to levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We should safeguard milestones while scaling up efforts in the achievement of universal coverage through prevention, protection and treatment intervention,” Mailu said.
Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Health Julius Korir said the launch of a pneumococcal vaccine, training of health workers and distribution of efficacious and affordable tablets has reduced pneumonia deaths among infants.
“We have achieved key milestones in the war against pneumonia due to availability of medicines and diagnostics in all public health facilities,” said Korir.
He added that county governments have pledged to be on the front line in the fight against childhood pneumonia. (Xinhua)