Health CS lauds efforts to tackle pneumonia in children

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu
Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu has lauded the efforts made by the Ministry of Health, County governments and the national government together with development partners and other stakeholders for efforts made to improve the health of children. During the commemoration of World Pneumonia Day, CS Mailu said the rate of pneumonia infections in children is still high, however, and that there is a long way to go to cater for the affected children.

He said the existing forms of treatment and management of pneumonia in children should be scaled up, “Use of optimum treatments like oral antibiotics for the management of pneumonia, injectable antibiotics and oxygen for the management of severe pneumonia should be scaled up to reach all sick children to prevent unnecessary deaths,” he said.

World Pneumonia Day was marked on November 12 to shine a light on the leading infectious cause of death among children. While pneumonia affects children and adults across the world, the greatest impact is felt in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease kills an estimated 750,000 children each year. The Ministry of Health has revealed that they’ll adopt amoxicillin-dispersible tablets as the first line antibiotic treatment for pneumonia in children under age five. This is a significant policy shift in line with World Health Organization recommendations, as dispersible tablets are more affordable, hygienic and easier to administer than liquid suspensions (historically the standard first-line treatment for childhood pneumonia)