The National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has decried high rate of children infested with pneumonia in many parts of the country. To this end, NAFDAC, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), has established Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablet Manufacturers Forum (ADTMF) in Enugu, to stem further increase of the health problem in the South-East geopolitical zone.

Speaking during the inauguration at the weekend in Enugu, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii, said the objective of the Forum was to “identify and mobilise interested indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce Amoxicillin DT to increase its availability. Orhii explained that it would enable indigenous manufacturers to produce quality, safe, efficacious and affordable AMX-DT and to create information sharing on the product.

The NAFDAC Director-General, represented by the deputy director, technical services and focal person United Nations Commission on Life-saving Commodities (UNCoLSC) for NAFDAC, Mr. Ali Ibrahim, disclosed that NAFDAC is currently working with some indigenous manufacturers towards ensuring the production of AMX-DT in Nigeria. He stressed that the forum was to provide a platform for more interested manufacturers, which would benefit from technical assistance provided by NAFDAC.

He explained that because Amoxicllin DT had been identified as the most effective broad-spectrum antibiotic used for bacterial infections of the ear, sinuses, throat, urinary tract, skin and abdomen. It is especially useful in the treatment of children with bacterial pneumonia, which he said, accounted 17 per cent death of children less than five years.

According to him, it had been proved scientifically that Amoxicillin was more efficacy in the treatment of children with severe cases of pneumonia compared to co-trimoxazole. He disclosed that pneumonia account for most neglected of the top childhood killer diseases in Nigeria, adding that global map for pneumonia incidence shows Nigeria as the leader after India among the 10 top countries mostly affected.

In his remark, the National Pneumonia Coordinator of USAID Targeted States High Impact Project, Dr Francis Ohanyido, said that pneumonia is number one killer of children under five in mostly Africa and South East Asia. Dr Ohanyido regretted that Africa accounted for 60 per cent global deaths of under five of pneumonia cases just as he said it had negatively impacted on attainment of Nigerias’ MDG 4.

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