Did you know that according to UNICEF “Pneumonia accounts for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old, killing 920,136 children in 2015.”? Shocking, right… wait for this, Pneumonia is also the number 1 killer among the leading infectious diseases. It takes more young lives than malaria, diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS combined.
World Pneumonia Day
Annually, about 6 million new cases of pneumonia occur in under-5 children in Nigeria, Despite the fact that pneumonia can be easily treated and is preventable, an alarming number of children are still dying from this deadly disease.
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection caused by a virus, fungi or bacteria that infects your lungs. Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common bacteria associated with pneumonia in children. If infected, children could experience symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing, fast breathing, chest in-drawing and/or wheezing.
Mortality in childhood pneumonia is linked to poverty-related factors such as undernutrition, lack of safe water, sanitation and inadequate access to health care. 6 out of 10 childhood pneumonia deaths are concentrated in 10 countries: Chad, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Angola, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Indonesia.
As we mark World Pneumonia day globally today, let us fight Pneumonia and save a child. To reduce preventable child deaths in Nigeria we must tackle the scourge of pneumonia because every breath counts.
Prevention of Pneumonia
The good news is that we can prevent, protect and treat children from pneumonia with;
- Routine immunizations against Hib, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough.
- Safe drinking water, good sanitation and frequent handwashing with soap.
- Good nutrition especially for kids over 6 months of age.
- Covering your mouth with a tissue while sneezing or coughing, throwing it away immediately and washing hands.
- Not sharing cups or kitchen utensils with others.
- Keeping the air clean at home.
- Adequate nutrition with exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of age and eating vitamin-rich foods over six months.
Take a minute to watch this video https://youtu.be/0uZIdVBLM9k to find out some of the simple ways you can help prevent pneumonia… together we can fight the scourge but education is critical to the fight. Get informed. We can stop pneumonia now.
To learn more about this disease and other ways to help prevent it, visit Stop Pneumonia.
Join the conversation and keep up with updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #EndPneumoniaNigeria, #VaccinesWork, #StopPneumoniaNow #GSKspon #WorldPneumoniaDay.