Pneumonia Kills 120,000 Nigerian Children Annually – Report

Pneumonia Kills 120,000 Nigerian Children Annually - Report
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No fewer than 120,000 children die annually from pneumonia across Nigeria, according to Dr. Adamu Isah, Chief of Party for the INSPIRING Project under the Save the Children initiative.

Dr. Isah made this known on Monday during the inauguration ceremony of the Every Breath Counts coalition committee at the Jigawa State Ministry of Health, Dutse.

He said two-third of children die in the first years of their lives, a situation that requires the attention of the world on its seriousness as was given to malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV diseases.

Read Also: 2M Child Deaths Can Be Averted If Pneumonia Is Controlled

Dr. Isah said one of the ways of creating awareness is bringing together a coalition of the willing to effect the desired change through fundraising and public awareness.

The committee which was inaugurated by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Salisu Mu’azu, said that pneumonia is a leading cause of death among children under the ages of five in the state.

Dr. Salisu said that despite the awareness, there is a low level of knowledge and skill by frontline health workers to effectively treat the condition.

He said this was a part of the reason that the INSPIRING Project under Save the Children in collaboration with the state Ministry of Health and other stakeholders will implement intervention strategies on pneumonia for health workers, communities, and caregivers.

The committee, which consists of the Permanent Secretary, health directors, civil society, private sector, and other professional bodies, was given a seven-term reference with which to work.

Low immunization, especially in hard-to-reach areas, urbanization, malnutrition, and pollution due to the burning of woods were cited as the causes for pneumonia deaths in Nigeria.

‘Everybody can be affected by pneumonia, but the mortality is higher when children are malnourished,‘ said Oluseyi Omokore, an official at Nigeria’s Health Ministry.

He said more children under the age of five contract malaria but deaths due to pneumonia are still higher.

‘Everybody can treat malaria but the situation is not the same with pneumonia. It affects the lungs and most people do not know about it,

AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK

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