By Chioma Obinna
With 10 percent of pneumonia and 9 percent of diarrhoea mortality rate of under five in Lagos State, the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PSN-PACFaH coalition are seeking proper management of pneumonia and diarrhoea through the inclusion of Amoxicillin DT and Zinc- LO-ORS (Co -pack) as first line treatment for the two childhood killer diseases.
Speaking during an advocacy visit to the State Central Medical stores last week, the Chairman of the coalition, Mr. Henry Adenigba, said Lagos ranks 3rd in the states with high burden of pneumonia and diarrhoea in the South West.
He said for every 100 under five deaths in Lagos State, pneumonia and diarrhoea, jointly account for 19 percent.
Calling for upward review of the State budget, Adenigba who looked at the state’s health budget since 2011 said: “WHO recommended 15 percent to health, none of the states including Federal have done that and without these funds the children will continue to die.
“In 2011, Lagos State allotted 7.3 percent, in 2012 a total of 6.8 percent which is a reduction, in 2013, it was 8.5 percent, 2014 it went down to 4.5 percent, probably due to agitation for increase it went up to 9.1 in 2015, in 2016 it went to 9.8 percent but in 2017 now it went back to 6.3 per cent. This is unacceptable. It is not a good pointer that means there won’t be enough money to manage some of these child killer diseases despite the increase in the state budget from N663 billion to N813 billion in 2017 if the budget is increased why the reduction in health budget.” Handing over the advocacy requests to the management of the store, Adenigba appealed to the Director of the medical store to provide them with the update of procurement and distribution of Amoxicillin DT and Zinc- LO-ORS in Lagos State.
Continuing, he also requested for the commitment of the store to scale up the use of Amoxicillin DT and Zinc- LO-ORS (Co-Pack) in the State for the treatment of pneumonia and diarrhoea.
He called for the review of essential medicine list so as to include the two drugs.
Responding, the Director Central Medical Store, Pharm. Oyebisi Omolanbe, said: “For the past two years we have been stocking the two but Lagos state has free policy treatment for 0 to 12 and the drugs did not fall into the policy. Because they are not among the free health policy they are to be paid for. “They are easily accessible. I have no power to review the essential drug list the final authority is with the government.
For government making it free I cannot comment on that. I cannot influence that. You people can help us. We are civil servants. This things can be procured free of charge.”