The Society for Family Health(SFH), one of Nigeria’s largest non-governmental organizations has collaborated with Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland to deliver health care services to children in Ebonyi and Kaduna states.
The Deputy Managing Director strategy/programmes, SFH, Dr. Jennifer Anyanti, on Thursday in Abuja, told News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), that the partnership was called the Delivering Health to All Children (Del2All) project and was funded by the Novartis Foundation, supported by the Kaduna and Ebonyi State governments, and implemented by SFH.
Anyanti added that the project was designed in line with the Federal Ministry ofHealth’s (FMOH), integrated Community Case Management of Childhood illness (iCCM) strategy.
She added that the iCCM strategy aimed to improve health and reduce the unacceptably high mortality rate in children under the age of five (focusing on hard-to-reach areas) and to support state governments in addressing the health of their citizens.
“The project was implemented for eight months in two states: Kaduna and Ebonyi states, with the support of the ministries of health.
“The project centred its activities on two major approaches. They are: facility-based interventions involving the capacity building of Patent and Proprietary MedicineVendors (PPMVs), also known as chemists, through training and mentorship to provide timely treatment for pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea diseases, provision of quality-assured medicines as well as strengthening referral linkages to public sector facilities, and social/community mobilisation and engagement which seeks to get the buy-in of key gatekeepers in the communities such as community development committees for successful implementation of the project in communities and local government areas,” she explained.
Anyanti disclosed that during the project’s eight-month implementation period, 1,007 children under five years were treated for uncomplicated pneumonia; 7,585 children under five were treated for diarrhoea, and 11,975 children diagnosed with malaria using rapid test kits were treated with Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).
According to her, additionally community health committees and referral systems between the public and private sectors were strengthened in the states.
She added that the two-day dissemination meeting with stakeholders in October was an exposition of the successes from the communities where the project was implemented in the two states.
She added that the project called for sustained action to scale up the gains of the project by relevant government ministries, departments, and agencies to expand the successes to other states and incorporate private sector players in supporting the government in promoting health for children in Nigeria.(NAN)