Kenya says it plans to adopt the World Health Organisation (WHO) pneumonia guidelines to reduce child mortality.
The Director of Medical services, Ministry of Health, Jackson Kioko said this in Nairobi on Friday, at the Scientific Symposium on Pneumonia to commemorate World Pneumonia day usually celebrated on Nov. 12.
He also told a health forum in Nairobi that the guidelines required the use of amoxicillin dispersible tablets.
‘’This will be used for the treatment of pneumonia for children under five years instead of Benzyl penicillin administered through injection and is very common in Kenya.
“The tablets will enable the country to enhance treatment of pneumonia because they can be orally administered by mothers at home,’’ Kioko said.
The day-long conference focused on one of the thematic areas of controlling pneumonia being early seeking of treatment and administration of appropriate recommended antibiotics.
Kioko said that by using amoxicillin dispersible tablets, patients would receive accurate doses.
“We want to eliminate cases where patients use less than the recommended dosage because it can result in reduced drug effectiveness as well as drug resistance.’’
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection disease that affects the lungs caused by virus, bacteria or fungi.
According to the Ministry of Health, approximately 10,000 children under five years died annually from pneumonia with 30,000 deaths.
The other leading causes of childhood deaths include malaria and diarrhea.
Kioko said that the state-owned Kenya Medical Supplies Authority had been mandated to provide the amoxicillin dispersible tablets to all public hospitals.
He also said the government would embark on a nationwide campaign to sensitise the public on the benefits of the tablets.
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