The Pfizer Foundation has announced the donation of $6.4 million in grants to address critical infectious disease challenges in Nigeria and Ghana as part of a long-term commitment to help protect underserved communities.
According to data from the Global health Exchange, globally nearly eight million people lose their lives each year from infectious diseases that could be avoided with access to basic healthcare, often in the most underserved communities. Of those lives lost, more than two million are among children under-five, almost half of which take place in West Africa.
In a press statement, made available to LEADERSHIP, the president, The Pfizer Foundation, Caroline Roan, disclosed that the grants which was given to CARE International, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and PATH will support programs to reduce childhood mortality, improve maternal health and address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the region.
“The global pandemic has magnified the disproportionate burden of infectious diseases, particularly in resource-limited settings where people have inadequate access to essential health services. We are proud to support the critical work of our partners in West Africa as they create localized approaches to bring quality health services to the community level and address persistent inequities in infectious disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment,” Roan averred.
Through the Infectious Disease (I.D.) Impact Initiative, The Pfizer Foundation has been partnering to create sustainable solutions that help strengthen healthcare systems in West Africa and around the world. This project aimed to reduce under-five mortality through a community-based care model that delivers a core package of quality child health services and enhances community-based surveillance to improve the detection of infectious diseases in Nigerian Yobe state and develop a functional and effective AMR stewardship program within health facilities, aimed at reducing child mortality, in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state.
This program will serve as a model for other humanitarian health programs, where crisis has contributed to a growing number of drug dispensaries with undertrained staff and knowledge gaps at the community level.
The country manager and cluster lead West Africa, Pfizer Inc, Olayinka Subair said, “Consistent with our responsibility to deliver breakthrough medicines and vaccines into patients’ hands across the world, we collaborate with health care providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care. We work every day to provide access to global scientific innovation that can help patients to live longer, healthier lives.”