Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 November 2018:
To mark the World Pneumonia Day, civil society organizations from Africa and Haiti are asking their governments to step-up to eradicate Pneumonia which is responsible for more child mortalities than any other diseases like AIDS, Malaria and Measles combined.
25 Civil Society Organizations from Africa and Haiti continue to push policymakers through the media to take drastic actions to combat the disease (Cotonou, Douala, Kinshasa, Abidjan, Conakry, Accra, Bamako, Nouakchott, Abuja, Freetown, Kampala, Lusaka, Nairobi, Dakar, Monrovia, Port au Prince).
Speaking at a conference on how to end Pneumonia in Africa, Mr. Aboubakar SYLLA, the President of ONG AGIS, said that “Despite the efforts that have been made so far, much more work still needs to be done, particularly in poor communities. Every child, regardless of where they were born, need to access life-saving vaccines and medicines.”
The most affected children live in poor and rural communities in many African countries. These are areas that often lack access to vaccines and other prevention and treatment tools.
Today, one million children’s lives could be saved with more prevention and treatment interventions. Unfortunately, the vaccine against Pneumonia is the most expensive, making it’s sustainability a great challenge for countries that are transitioning from GAVI’s support.
Also, many people are still not aware of its overwhelming death-toll, and this has led its prioritization to be overshadowed on the global health agenda. It also gets very little attention in the media.
It is therefore important for African governments to allocate more finances for immunization and broaden vaccines access within their countries during routine vaccination campaigns, for the disease to be eliminated.
Pneumonia can be easily prevented using vaccines and treated with medicine. There is evidence of commendable progress towards its elimination such as the drop in annual deaths from 1.7 million to an estimated 920,000 between 2000 and 2015.
African governments need to honour their commitments to Immunization and shape the vaccine market to ensure sustainability for the Pneumonia vaccine.
To ensure that governments stick to their commitments, the civil society organizations are amplifying their voices for (a) more financial investment for Immunization by governments, (b) scale-up of vaccination campaigns to reach the most remote locations and (c) for more community sensitization to demand for immunization services from their leaders during this key campaign date of the 33 Days to Power Up Immunization.”
Benin: Fondation Joseph The Worker; Cameroon: PROVARESSC; Congo: Association d’Entraide Médico Sociale; Côte d’Ivoire: Agis and FENOSCI; Guinee: POSSAV; Ghana: Concern Health Education Project and Muslim Family Counselling Services; Mali: FENASCOM; Mauritania: ADFFE; Nigeria: Community Health and Research Initiative, Care and Development Center, NIWAAFA, and Coalition on Vaccines, Vitamins and Immunizations for All Nigerians; Sierra Leone: Children Advocacy Forum, Focus 1000 and Pikin-to-Pikin; Uganda: Community Restoration Initiative Project; Zambia: Zambia Civil Society Immunization Platform and ALEJO Community Support Project; Kenya: KANCO; Senegal: Fondation AFRIVAC; Liberia: Public Health Initiative and Liberia Immunization Platform; Haiti: PHAREV; Global: CoMo; Niyel