Pneumonia is the inflammation of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi and it is the leading cause of under-5 morbidity and mortality in developing countries killing more children than HIV, Malaria and Diarrhea combined.
According to UNICEF, 15% of all under-5 deaths in Nigeria in 2015 were caused by pneumonia. To stem this tide the Every Breath Counts Coalition was formed to assist ten countries where the problem is most critical to overcome the challenge.
The Every Breath Counts Coalition is a Public Private Partnership to provide support to governments in ten countries of Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Angola, Niger, Somalia, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ethiopia take action against Pneumonia to keep more children alive. The support the Every Breath Counts Coalition will give will close gaps in the areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment in Nigeria. Since September 2018, the EBC Coalition has been working in Nigeria under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health. In recognition of the efforts of Tiny Beating Hearts Initiative in reducing neonatal deaths in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health extended an invitation to TBHIto be a part of the Nigeria coalition.
On Wednesday January 30, 2019, TBHI was part OF a Stakeholders Meeting on Integrated Pneumonia Control Strategy and Implementation Plan.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, the Director of Family Health Department of FMoH, stated that even though Nigeria has been making efforts at reducing child mortality, a lot more work needs to be done to ensure that children do not die to preventable causes like pneumonia. She is confident that with commitment from members of the EVERY BREATH COUNTS coalition, Nigeria would reach its goal on Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, which is to reduce child mortality by 80% by 2030.
Premature babies are at higher risk for pneumonia like other childhood diseases because of their low immunity and it is my sincere hope that with Tiny Beating Hearts being part of the EVERY BREATH COUNTS Coalition to address challenges enabling the rise of deaths in children arising from pneumonia succeeds in combating not just pneumonia but all childhood diseases so that our children can survive and live healthy lives.