Every year, on November 12, World Pneumonia Day holds.
But there are some things that most persons do not know about this disease.
Did you know that Pneumonia is one of the world’s deadliest killer of children? This is why GSK is raising awareness about this deadly disease.
Did you also know that according to UNICEF “Pneumonia accounts for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old?
In 2015 alone, 920,136 children died as a result of this disease.
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.
Yes, you just read right.
In fact, annually, about 6 million new cases of pneumonia occur in under-5 children in Nigeria. This is where it concerns you as a Nigerian mother.
However, despite the fact that this disease can be easily treated and is preventable, an alarming number of children still die from this deadly disease.
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection caused by a virus, fungi or bacteria that infect your lungs.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacteria associated with the disease 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.
Six out of 10 childhood pneumonia deaths are concentrated in 10 countries. Sadly, Nigeria is one of them.
Others are are Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Angola, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, and Indonesia.
Therefore, as we mark World Pneumonia day globally today, let us fight Pneumonia and save a child.
The Good News
Meanwhile, to reduce preventable child deaths in Nigeria, we must tackle the scourge of pneumonia because every breath counts.
The good news is that we can prevent, protect and treat children from the disease with the under listed.
- 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.
If you would love to learn more about this disease and other ways to help prevent it, visit Stop Pneumonia.
Kindly join the conversation and keep up with updates on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #Stoppneumonianow.