By Chioma Obinna
The Pfizer Foundation has announced the donation of $6.4 million in grants to address critical infectious disease challenges in Nigeria and Ghana as part of a long-term commitment to help protect underserved people in the United State, U.S., and around the world.
Grants to CARE, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and PATH will support programs to reduce childhood mortality, improve maternal health and address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the region.
The President, Pfizer Foundation, Senior Vice President, Global Health & Social Impact, Pfizer Inc, Caroline Roan said the global pandemic has magnified the disproportionate burden of infectious diseases, particularly in resource-limited settings where people have inadequate access to essential health services.
“We are proud to support the critical work of our partners in West Africa as they create localized approaches to bring quality health services to the community level and address persistent inequities in infectious disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”
Globally nearly 8 million people lose their lives each year from infectious diseases that could be avoided with access to basic healthcare, often in the most underserved communities. Of those lives lost, more than 2 million are among children under five, almost half of which takes place in West Africa.1 Additionally, the growing risk of AMR is already having a profound impact on people today and, if left unchecked, by 2050 could lead to 10 million deaths from resistant infections each year.
Through the Infectious Disease Impact Initiative, Pfizer Foundation has been partnering to create sustainable solutions that help strengthen healthcare systems in West Africa and around the world. Specifically, these projects aim at reducing under-five mortality through a community-based care model that delivers a core package of quality child health services and enhances community-based surveillance to improve the detection of infectious diseases in Nigerian Yobe state; develop a functional and effective AMR stewardship program within health facilities, aimed at reducing child mortality, in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state.
This programme will serve as a model for other humanitarian health programs, where the crisis has contributed to a growing number of drug dispensaries with undertrained staff and knowledge gaps at the community level; reduce newborn morbidity and mortality in Ghana by improving diagnosis and management of maternal infections, through the integration of point-of-care diagnostics among others.