Save the Children International (SCI) has called on Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Senator Tokunbo Abiru, representing Lagos East in the Senate, to draw up a health policy that will give free oxygen to children under five years, as it would help to save a lot of lives, especially as many children often die due to lack of access to oxygen. It also asked for more budgetary allocation for child health within the state health budget.
The Advocacy Adviser, SCI, Folake Kuti, who made the call when SCI went on an advocacy visit to Abiru, noted that many mothers have difficulty paying for oxygen when their children need it. She added that with pneumonia being the biggest killer of children in Nigeria, having easy access to oxygen could help halt some childhood deaths from pneumonia.
Kuti further said that Ikorodu has the highest number of cases of pneumonia in Lagos, noting that it explains why SCI partnered GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the last two years to support health centres within Ikorodu Council with training and medical equipment worth over N100m.
She called on Abiru to join in the campaign to make oxygen available for children under-5 for free as well as advocate that child health should receive more budgetary allocation.
Commenting, Abiru, who commended the partnership between SCI and GSK, noted that government alone cannot provide all the needs within the health sector. He added that it is the reason philanthropists and corporate organisations come in to support.