The Director of the Institute for Training and Research on Population, Development and Reproductive Health (IPDSR), Guélaye Sall, has said that acute breathing infections are a major cause of mortality among children aged up to five years in Senegal.
Sall was speaking Tuesday during a session to report the findings of the operational research on ”pharmacovigilance” in treating breathing infections among children by community health officers.
According to the findings of the study, conducted over a year, there was a high prevalence of acute breathing infections among children as more than 60% of children were suffering from the infections – about 70% among them from pneumonia.
“In Senegal, a community-based programme has been conducted in four districts and this study found that a community health official who has at least the primary school level and is trained, equipped and well-supervised can take care of a child between two months and five years,” he said.
The research was conducted in two phases in the districts of Kédougou, Kolda (south of the country), Louga (north), Nioro and Thiadiaye (centre).
According to the researcher, the first phase covered more than 600 mothers of children aged two to five, while the second involved the drafting of a training module with notification forms, assessment of knowledge attitudes and practices.
The research findings note that the treatment can be improved if community health officials advise parents on how to administer the medicines.
“Pneumonia treatment in the community can be largely applied and viable,” he said.
“Community programmes on pneumonia treatment have shown that following up on the quality of the care to ensure a good use of antibiotics is efficient and possible,” he added.