A new initiative to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and referral of children with pneumonia in Chad was launched today at an event in N’Djamena. The event was attended by the Minister of Planning and National Economy, Minister of Public Health and National Solidarity, the Mayor of the city of N'Djamena and staff from the Ministry of Health, Malaria Consortium and partner organisations.
The project, named PneumoTransform, is led by Malaria Consortium in collaboration with Chad’s Ministry of Public Health and National Solidarity and aims to improve pneumonia case management by building on current methods and systems used to manage pneumonia cases at different levels of the health system, and by developing and operationalising a new pneumonia control strategy for the country.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under five in Chad, accounting for 23 percent of deaths. The pneumonia control strategy will focus on improving prevention, diagnosis, treatment and referral of children with pneumonia. Through PneumoTransform, it is hoped that neonatal and infant mortality rates will reduce, in line with the recently held national dialogue on maternal, neonatal and child mortality.
Attending the event, Dr Saada Daoud, General Director of Disease Control, Reproductive Health, Health Promotion and Nutrition at the Ministry of Health in Chad, said:
“The pneumonia project in Chad is timely because of its multisectoral approach that aims to develop a comprehensive strategy to effectively combat this scourge that claims the lives of children under five years old. The Ministry of Health subscribes with conviction to this project working to reduce the mortality rate of children up to five years of age due to pneumonia in Chad. This project is in line with the orientations and needs expressed by our government during the national dialogue on the issue of maternal, newborn and child mortality, which will strengthen the synergy of priority actions in our ministry.”
Malaria Consortium has worked in Chad since 2015 and has been working on improving pneumonia case management for over ten years, including large-scale studies focusing on improving diagnosis and management of pneumonia cases. Narcisse Tounaikok, Malaria Consortium Country Technical Coordinator in Chad and PneumoTransform project lead, commented at the event:
“Pneumonia remains a major threat to children under five. There is currently no national control strategy for pneumonia, so this project is timely in making important steps forward to improve the situation in Chad. Drawing on our expertise in pneumonia case management, we are pleased to be working with the Ministry of Health to develop solutions that best fit the specific context of Chad and join our efforts to tackle this disease.”
Dr Kevin Baker, Malaria Consortium Senior Research Adviser and co-chair of the Every Breath Counts Research Group – a group of public and private sector experts working to support governments in low- and middle-income countries to reduce pneumonia deaths by 2030 – also added:
“Malaria Consortium is delighted to see the launch of this important project. Hopefully, this will be the first step in addressing pneumonia more effectively in Chad, one of the highest burden countries in the world. We will continue to partner with the Ministry of Health to end preventable child deaths from pneumonia by 2030.”