As part of the Every Breath Counts Fund, ICV is pleased to partner with The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI), which has been working with government and partners in the public and private sector to ensure no Nigerian child dies from pneumonia unnecessarily. CHAI has already made a positive impact by improving access to life-saving diagnostics and treatments at health facilities across three states, but there is more work to be done to combat the largest killer of children under five.
Pneumonia is an infection that causes a patient’s lungs to fill with fluid, making it difficult to breathe. This can result in a complication called hypoxemia – extremely low blood oxygen levels – putting the patient at great risk of death. Oxygen therapy effectively treats hypoxemia, but access to oxygen is a major challenge in countries like Nigeria.
Pneumonia kills more children under five every year than AIDS, malaria, and the measles combined.
There are often simple, effective ways to diagnose and treat pneumonia.
Most Nigerian children with pneumonia will reach a health facility, but when they do:
Dr. Hamish Graham, a pediatrician and public health researcher, discusses the difficulties delivering oxygen therapy to children in Nigeria in this TEDx Talk:
CHAI has the right strategy, the right experience, and the right partnerships to make a difference. Our mission is to save lives and reduce the burden of disease in low- and middle-income countries around the world. We aim to strengthen the government and private sector to create and sustain high-quality health systems in the countries where we work.
Over the last three years, CHAI has made substantial gains to improve child health in Nigeria, particularly in managing pneumonia and hypoxemia across 30 hospitals in three states – Kaduna, Kano and Niger – where we have run a successful pilot program. Together with the government of Nigeria, CHAI has:
This work helped galvanize transformational impact in the 30 hospitals that participated in the program. Once routine screening with pulse oximetry was introduced, diagnoses of hypoxemia among children admitted with pneumonia increased from 20% to 48%. This means an estimated 8,153 additional children with hypoxemia received life-saving oxygen therapy due to improved screening and treatment rates. Other results include:
Building on this initial success, ICV and CHAI are seeking partners to help scale up the program nationally, with implementation in seven high-burden states over the next four years and a budget of $27.3 million. With this expanded program, CHAI expects to:
Challenges that threaten humanity require innovative responses and insights. The power of collaboration can ensure a prosperous future. Our experienced team, with representatives from the cooperating organizations, has the character, courage and commitment to solve the challenges we face today, and to respond to and contain these threats.
Dr. Chizoba Fashanu serves as the Nigeria Deputy Program Director at CHAI. She has more than 12 years of experience leading health projects in Nigeria with government, NGOs and donors. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Lagos College of Medicine
and she holds a MPH from University of Texas & MSc in Epidemiology from The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
“As a parent, watching a child die unnecessarily is an image that you never forget. I’ve seen too many. The faces of these children — and their heartbroken parents — are what motivate me. Every day, I am grateful for the opportunity to work on this incredible challenge. Countless children are depending on us.”
– Kate Schroder, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc.