CHANDIGARH: Punjab Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu on Wednesday launched SAANS campaign (Social Awareness & Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully).
Mr. Sidhu said that “Mild, moderate and Severe Pneumonia in a COVID hit child can become an additional co-morbid condition to which he or she can succumb to death. Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of childhood mortality in the country and it contributes to approximately 15% of mortality”.
Health Minister said that deaths due to pneumonia are preventable if we are able to “detect” and “treat” pneumonia timely. Though childhood mortality indicator of Punjab is better than the rest of the country, but the state is committed to ensure zero preventable child deaths and even better health outcomes for children.
To protect the childhood pneumonia, there is need of effective coverage of protective, preventive and treatment interventions with enough emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding, adequate complementary feeding, Vitamin A supplementation, vaccine coverage, safe WASH and reduced house-hold air pollution, he added.
Mr. Sidhu said that to detect and treat pneumonia; Health Department, Punjab, participated in a multi-state pilot study, the USAID-Vriddhi Project. In this Pilot study , Community Health Officers (CHOs) at HWC centers (19) were provided with Multi-modal Pulse Oximeter and trained on IMNCI package. In Punjab it was done in sites of Aspirational District (Ferozepur) Punjab. It has been into action since April 2019.
In Punjab, a total number of 502 children (with fever and cough) were screened with the help of Multi-modal Pulse Oximeter and 27% of them were found positive for Pneumonia out of which 6 had severe pneumonia he informed adding with the help of IMNCI Training and multimodal device 96% of screened children received the correct diagnosis and 95% received the correct treatment.
Mr. Sidhu said that with the launch of SAANS program, the state is hopeful to see a definite improvement in pneumonia screening, detection and treatment. It will further help the state to reduce Pneumonia induced childhood mortality.
Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare, Mr. Hussan Lal, Director Family Welfare Dr. Andesh Kang, OSD to Health Minister Dr. Balwinder Singh, Nodal Officer MCH Dr. Inderdeep Kaur, Regional Advisor IPE Global Dr. Nidhi Chaudhary, State Technical Advisor USAIDS, IPE Global Dr. Shailendra Singh Tomar, State Mass Media Officer Gurmeet Singh Rana and Mass Media Officer Harcharan Singh Brar were also present on the occasion.