Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

PSN, PACFaH task Lagos gov’t on essential drugs

In order to eradicate childhood killer diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea in Lagos state, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN and Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PACFaH, has tasked the state government on procurement of first line drug in the management of the diseases.

Making his presentation at an advocacy visit to the permanent secretary, Lagos State Primary HealthCare Board, Dr. Ibironke Sodeinde, PSN-PACFaH Program Director/Strategy, Remi Adeseun said, “the Lagos state government especially at the Ministry of Health should create a specific budget lines for the procurement of these essential drugs.

“It will aid in ensuring that the commodities are regularly available at all health facilities in the state,” even as he called for timely release of funds for the procurement of these essential medicines.

Adeseun however said that "the state government should also scale-up and encourage the use of Zinc/LO-ORS as the first line drug in the management of childhood diarrhoea. The conventional standard high osmolarity ORS should be discouraged and removed from circulation due to its severe adverse effects on the health of the citizens especially children under 5 years."

He outlined PSN-PACFaH's health goals to include; Family planning, nutrition, routine immunisation and ending childhood killer diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea.

In her response, Dr. Ibironke Sodeinde assured the advocacy team that their requests will be fully addressed by the appropriate authorities.

Sodeinde said, "the Primary Healthcare Board has specific budget lines for the procurement of Amoxicillin DT and Zinc/LO-ORS in the state’s 2016 budget", adding that timely release of funds for that budget lines will fast track procurement of the commodities.

She however expressed hope that both drugs if procured will help reduce childhood death in the state caused by pneumonia and diarrhoea, assuring of the readiness of the state to adopt and implement the use of Amoxicillin DT and Zinc/LO-ORS as the first line drugs for the management of the diseases.

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