REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Kenya launches Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablets to treat pneumonia in children

 

NAIROBI, Kenya 13 November 2017 –  The Government has launched Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablets as the first line treatment for the management of pneumonia in children under five years, in Kenya.

During the launch in Nairobi today, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu said the dispersible tablets are effective as they do not require refrigeration, dissolves in water and assures accurate dosage.

They are also expected to build up on the progress under the new guidelines for treating children. Globally, it is estimated that a child dies every 20 seconds due to pneumonia, while in Kenya 31,000 children die annually as a result of pneumonia and diarrhea, which are preventable and treatable conditions.

He said in Kenya health, care-seeking for children with symptoms of acute respiratory infection stands at 66% in both public and private sector and those who seek care, do so less promptly and present their children at an advanced stage of the disease.

“The government recognizes that Kenya’s future, and the fulfillment of our national development framework, Vision 2030, is dependent on the collective investment towards child health and we should strive to protect the health and wellbeing of our children so that they live up to their full potential,” said Dr. Mailu at the event to mark the World Pneumonia Day.

Kenya, he added has made steady progress in improving child health outcomes in the last decade. “Child mortality has declined by almost thirty percent since 2008, largely due to the increased uptake of ORS and Zinc for the management of diarrhea in children under five years, improved exclusive breastfeeding practices, introduction of new childhood vaccines like pneumococcal and rotavirus, increased level of ownership, use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and the scale up of skilled birth attendants”

He commended the development partners and other stakeholders’ efforts towards improving the health of Newborns, Children and Adolescents Health (NCAH) in the country, noting that investing in NCAH is key to the achievement of vision 2030.

He also acknowledged that the uptake of health promotion and prevention interventions alongside access to quality NCAH services and treatment remains a challenge across all levels of care and called for strategic partnerships between Public and Private sector.

Globally, there is a renewed momentum and support for NCAH services as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through Protective interventions such as exclusive breastfeeding, adequate complementary feeding and Vitamin A supplementation and preventative interventions such as immunizations, safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene and reduced household air pollution.

“Scaling up of optimum treatments like oral antibiotics for the management of pneumonia, injectable antibiotics and oxygen for the management of severe pneumonia to reach all sick children and prevent unnecessary deaths, is key,” he said,

Kenya is a signatory to the Global Action Plan for Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD). The country has adopted the Kenya Action Plan for Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (KAPPD), which is the national blueprint towards accelerated action in the reduction of child mortality.

He added that the growing national and international commitments provide an opportunity to leverage on both domestic and donor support for sustained financing in child health services.