Africa: statements of support
Dr. George Armah, Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor, University of Ghana
Dr. Roma Chilengi, Country Lead, Absolute Return for Kids, Zambia
Dr. Chris Elemuwa, National Pneumonia Focal Point, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Nigeria
Dr. Dorothy Esangbedo, President-elect, Union of National African Paediatric Societies and Associations; Immediate Past President, Paediatric Society of Nigeria
Tayo Fariogun, Executive Director, Health and Sustainable Development Association, Nigeria
Dr. Shabir Madhi, Executive Director, The National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Division of NHLS, South Africa
Dr. Ado Jimada Gana Muhammad, Executive Director/CEO, NPHCDA, Nigeria
Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Chairman, Nigeria Senate Committee on Health
Professor Adebiyi Olowu, President, Paediatric Association of Nigeria
Dr. Samba Ousmane Sow, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Mali
Dr. Oyewale Tomori, President, Nigerian Academy of Science, Nigeria
Professor Fred Were, President, Eastern African Paediatric Association and Kenyan Pediatric Association, Kenya
“I have seen first-hand the devastation pneumonia and diarrhoea have caused among Africa’s children and their families,” said Dr. George Armah, senior research fellow and associate professor at the University of Ghana. “As a researcher, I also know the transformative power of vaccines. In clinical study after clinical study, I’ve seen lives changed. We can shield our children from some of the deadliest threats they will face with just a few vaccine doses. By ensuring tools like vaccines reach every child who needs them as part of the full prevention and treatment continuum, we can rewrite history and make diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea a thing of the past. I’m proud of Ghana for leading our continent in implementing lifesaving solutions for our children. With the GAPPD, we now have the power to save so many more young lives.”
“In Zambia, pneumonia and diarrhoea are the leading causes of death for children under the age of 5. It makes sense to focus our efforts in tackling these two diseases together and to do so using an integrated framework of interventions, which can be easily understood and implemented by caregivers and health workers. The Centre for Infectious Disease Research ARK programme in Zambia has been promoting an integrated approach to diarrhoea control and so we welcome the recommendations of the GAPPD and renewed international efforts to tackle these two deadly but highly preventable diseases.”
“The launch of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) describes the important, integrated, strategic approach to preventing the silent killers of children – pneumonia and diarrhoea. The strategy outlines the commonalities in the prevention and treatment solutions for both the diseases. From strengthening surveillance, to new vaccine introductions, to appropriate treatment – we know how to protect the world’s most vulnerable children. In Nigeria, we are committed to achieving the goal of reducing child mortality and will stop at nothing to achieve it. We encourage all partners, at local, national and global levels to work in unison. Together, we can make a difference.”
"The introduction of new vaccines that target the leading causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea, greater access to quality, affordable ORS, zinc and amoxicillin to treat diarrhoea and pneumonia and a greater focus on water, sanitation hygiene and nutrition are initiatives that should collectively have great impact in reducing two million child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea,” said Dr. Esangbedo, president-elect of the Union of National African Paediatric Societies and Associations and immediate, past president of the Paediatric Society of Nigeria. “The need to pursue this approach comprehensively and to ensure that all communities are reached is urgent. It is the duty of all who advocate for optimum child health in Nigeria to support the Global Action Plan's focus on reaching the most vulnerable children and to work in partnership with the government of Nigeria to ensure that services reach children in the remotest communities.”
“Today, the global health community rallies around an important strategy to reduce child mortality with the release of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD),” said Tayo Fariogun, executive director of Nigeria’s Health and Sustainable Development Association (HESDAN). “The GAPPD highlights the proven interventions to protect the world’s children against these two ruthless diseases. Improved nutrition, access to life-saving vaccines and receiving timely care and treatment are several interventions that can make the difference between life and death for a child. We commend the release of this new report and encourage governments, partners and communities to employ the action steps outlined in the GAPPD.”
“Tackling the two leading killers of children together just makes good sense,” said Dr. Shabir Madhi, executive director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Division of NHLS in South Africa. “So many of the solutions that protect children and prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea are complementary, and they have been proven time and again to get results that save lives. The science is there. Now it’s up to policymakers to do their part.”
“I congratulate WHO and UNICEF on today’s launch of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD),” said Dr. Ado Jimada Gana Muhammad, the executive director and CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Nigeria. “This is an important and timely document. It lays out the strategy and interventions needed to reduce the number of children’s lives needlessly lost to pneumonia and diarrhoea. In 2010 alone, more than 240,000 Nigerian children died from these two diseases. The government has made child health a top priority and although we have seen a decrease in the number of young lives lost, there is much more we can do. Under Nigeria’s Saving One Million Lives Initiative, we are accelerating access to life-saving health care for women and children. The GAPPD’s framework provides us with a common, integrated platform to address two of the leading child killers. It underscores the importance of our current efforts, such as diarrhoea prevention through health education and sanitation improvements delivered by a massive deployment of Village Health Workers in various communities; and introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, a powerful instrument to fight pneumonia. As the GAPPD shows us, we have many tools in our arsenal, but we must bring them to scale. I urge all stakeholders to join us in this effort.”
“Today's release of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) by WHO and UNICEF, is a milestone in child health efforts—marking the first time an integrated approach has been outlined to tackle two of the leading killers of children,” said senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, chairman of Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Health. “In 2010 alone, pneumonia and diarrhoea claimed the lives of more than 2 million children globally, about 240,000 of whom were Nigerians. We must act quickly. Proven ways to prevent, control and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea exist. While in Nigeria we have made great strides to reduce child mortality, our work is far from finished. The GAPPD strategy to fight pneumonia and diarrhoea is crucial to deploying a concerted effort in our communities, our country and throughout the world, to save our children.”
"The Paediatric Association of Nigeria is a leading advocate for the prevention of pneumonia and diarrhoeal deaths among children,” said Professor Adebiyi Olowu, president of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria. “We support the introduction of new vaccines that target the leading causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea; greater access to quality, affordable oral rehydration salts (ORS), zinc and amoxicillin to treat diarrhoea and pneumonia; and a greater focus on water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition initiatives. We welcome the Global Action Plan's focus on reaching the most vulnerable children and pledge our support to work in partnership with the government of Nigeria to ensure that services reach children in the most remote communities."
“Diarrhoea, pneumonia − diseases like these that we can prevent and treat should not be the top killers of Africa’s children today, especially when we have so many powerful tools to protect them,” said Dr. Samba Ousmane Sow, associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Solutions like vaccines, handwashing with soap, good nutrition, adequate sanitation, breastfeeding and safe drinking water provide a powerful one-two punch, protecting children from both pneumonia and diarrhoea.”
“The burden of pneumonia and diarrhoea weighs heavily on the children of sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr. Oyewale Tomori, president of the Nigerian Academy of Science. “We certainly can change this. We must support the countries and communities on the front lines, encouraging governments to meet the legitimate demands of the communities and ensure that the children with the greatest needs have access to lifesaving tools like rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines.”
“Millions of children’s lives can be saved from pneumonia and diarrhoea through coordinated efforts. On behalf of the Eastern African Paediatric Association, I congratulate all the stakeholders that were involved in the development of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD). GAPPD released by the World Health Organization and UNICEF provides the latest strategies and evidence needed to reduce the two leading killers of children.
Together, pneumonia and diarrhoea account for nearly one-third of deaths in children under five years of age, claiming more than two million lives each year. I’d like to express my support for this Global Plan and my conviction that its implementation at the country level will be worthwhile.
The toll is greatest amongst the poorest children. The plan’s integrated approach will be far more effective and efficient than single disease focused approaches because many of the solutions needed to fight pneumonia and diarrhoea are complementary. With the release of the GAPPD, I strongly urge countries and donors to prioritize the fight against pneumonia and diarrhoea through integrated policies, programs and increased resources.
Finally, as a child health champion, I remain steadfast and urge paediatrics, civil society, private sector and the governments’ commitment to see the success of GAPPD, both nationally and globally.