Speak Up Africa dedicated the whole month of November to create awareness about the pneumonia. The focus of the campaign targeted Nigeria, the country with the highest child pneumonia mortality in Africa. As the burden and mortality is the highest in the north, Every Breath Counts has recruited 3 famous Kannywood celebrities: Hadiza Ali Nuhu, and Rahma Sadu to appear in a series of TV/Radio PSAs and that were aired for three months during the height of pneumonia prevalence. (November 2016–January 2017)

 

Evidence Based Interventions

As part of the Speak Up Africa’s Every Breath Counts campaign in northern Nigeria, baseline and end line surveys were conducted to better understand the community's understanding of pneumonia. The surveys were conducted in Kano, Katsina and Kaduna states to measure the project’s immediate impact on the target populations. These results will assist in developing a protocol for best practices as well as making recommendations for other related interventions.

 

The campaign focused on the following components:

  • Improving the understanding of the dangers of pneumonia
  • Enhancing the ability to identify the signs of possible pneumonia infection
  • Creating awareness of pneumonia prevention
  • Increasing awareness about the pneumonia vaccination

 

I am a mother of 3 and grandmother, who looks after all of the children. Pneumonia has been a problem for the children in our communities. I understand it now - the need for a balanced diet and a clean environment. No more indoor cooking! There is also available treatment. I am telling everyone now about pneumonia.
— Bilhatu Ayuba, Grandmother in Kaduna (Nigeria)
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Through the baseline and end line survey results, we found that:

  • Many respondents stated that the cases of pneumonia deaths were significantly reduced during the campaign period
  • Cases that the respondents became aware of during the period of the campaign were immediately reported to the PHCs and general hospitals.
  • Kano State witnessed an 18% increase in reported cases, a 22% increase in Katsina State and an 8% increase in Kaduna State
  • Feedback indicates that most people do not include pneumonia vaccination in their immunization programs. They opined that it is restricted to few tertiary hospitals.
  • Visits to health centers increased because of the campaign's emphasis on taking symptomatic children to a health care provider as opposed to treating children at home through self-medication and traditional remedies
  • Respondents are more aware of the seriousness and life-threatening nature of pneumonia and the need to take prompt actions to avoid complicated cases and possible death.

Mallam Kabir Sanni, a business owner who operates a small supermarket in Katsina stated his 1-year-old son had breathing difficulty and a severe cough. He took him to a children’s hospital in Katsina, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The boy recovered.  Mallam Kabir was part of the baseline study where he emphasized his preference of traditional remedies. However, as a result of the campaign, he was motivated to take his child to the hospital. He states that the treatment was effective and saved his son’s life. Through continued outreach and campaigns, we will be able to reach more people like Mallam Kabir.

Man with Child in Kaduna, Nigeria
For generations, we have used the traditional healers. We never went to hospitals for treatment. But with the campaign, especially the one with the child, this has changed. Recently, my son had a strange sounding cough, and I went straight to the general hospital. It was more expensive, but it probably saved his life.
— Mallam Kabir Sanni, Father in Katsina (Nigeria)

 

Next steps:

Speak Up Africa will use this data gathered throughout this campaign to work towards increased prevention and treatment of pneumonia in areas where the need is the greatest. Continued action will also include working towards building national awareness about pneumonia, engaging champions of our work and political influencers and developing a communication plan legislative bodies of government. These efforts, as well as working in collaboration with our partners will allow us to continually work towards ending childhood pneumonia

 

For more information regarding our work in Nigeria, please contact Roxanne O'Connell  at roxanne.oconnell@speakupafrica.org.