2019 WPD: SOHEALTHI JOINS FIGHT AGAINST LEADING CHILD KILLER DISEASE
In commemoration of the World Pneumonia Day, the Society for Health Enlightenment Initiative (SO-HEALTHI), a non-governmental organisation, yesterday, joined the Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia to fight PNEUMONIA, the number one killer of children under 5 years old.
Speaking at the event, the NGO’s Team Lead, Barr. (Mrs.) RoseMary Archibong, stated that SO-HEALTHI was borne out of passion to contribute to health awareness creation and interventions, while adding a literary component to its activities to encourage creative writing, with this year’s edition held in the Conference Hall of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar.
Mrs. Archibong said SO-HEALTHI has in ten years strengthened advocacy and created awareness about Pneumonia – a treatable and preventable disease, which according to the United Nations, has killed more children from 0-5 years than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.
According to un.org, “Nigeria has seen the worst of the problem, with 162, 000 child pneumonia deaths in the last year – that’s an astonishing 443 on average, each day. India is India is not far behind at 127, 000, Pakistan at 58, 000, the Democratic Republic of Congo at 40, 000, and 32, 000 deaths in Ethiopia.”
“These five countries alone were responsible for more than half of the lives pneumonia claimed in 2018.”
“The disease can be prevented with immunization, and easily treated with low-cost antibiotics if properly diagnosed, but tens of millions of children are still going unvaccinated.”
“Globally, 32 per cent of children suspected of having pneumonia are not taken to a health facility, and the number rises to 40 per cent in poor and low-income countries.”
The well attended event featured lecture presentations on Pneumonia, it’s causes and prevention by Dr. Genevieve Barnaby of the AyadeCare Home Healthcare and Dr. Effioanwan Archibong, a Registrar at UCTH.
A special goodwill message was given by Associate Professor Atana Ewa, who commended SOHEALTHI for her consistency, noting that she has been with the NGO from her pioneer outing on PNEUMONIA in 2009.
Seven select Secondary Schools, namely Word of Promise High School, Holy Trinity College, Margaret Ekpo Secondary School, Seven Angels University Secondary School, Community Secondary School, Ikot Ewa, Akpabuyo, Aye High School and Government Secondary School, Akim, all in Calabar took part in the 2019 edition of SO-HEALTHI Essay Competition on Pneumonia.
The Essay Competition, with the topic “Pneumonia: Causes and Prevention,” saw little Eyong Praise of Margaret Ekpo Secondary School, clinched the the first prize, while Michael Iyechukwu Austin of Seven Angels University Secondary School and Abigail Eyo Hogan of Government Secondary School, Akim, came second and third respectively.
Consolation prizes also went to Loveth Abit – Word of Promise High School; Paul Liyel Bassey – Holy Trinity College; Princess Nathaniel – Aye High School; and Timothy Solomon Akpan of Community Secondary School, Ikot Ewa.
In a related development, the SO-HEALTHI team earlier paid a courtesy visit on the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Prof. Ikpeme A. Ikpeme, with the NGO’s Team Lead, Mrs. RoseMary Archibong receiving plaudits for her contributions, notably, during her stint as Director of Administration of UCTH, her efforts towards health awareness creation with SO-HEALTHI and service to humanity.
The UCTH boss also pledged his hospital’s readiness to partner with NGOs and other relevant bodies in ensuring effective healthcare service delivery to the people.