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Launch massive vaccination against pneumonia, Senate tells FG



Worried by the high rate of infants deaths caused by pneumonia in the country, the Senate, has urged the Federal Ministry of Health to launch a massive vaccination programme to arrest this killer disease.
Similarly, it asked the ministry, through its relevant agencies to make available Amoxicillin DT antibiotics to Health centers round the country to treat the infection.
The Senate’s resolutions followed a motion on the urgent need to combat the killer disease, sponsored by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP Edo Central) during plenary.
Ordia, while presenting the motion, explained that “pneumonia is a lung disease condition which can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, which leaves children fighting for breath with their lungs filled with pus and fluid.”
“Children with low immune systems weakened by other infections or by malnutrition and those living in areas with high level of air pollution and unsafe water are more at risk of been infected by the disease,” he added.
The lawmaker lamented that about five countries in the world are responsible for more than half of child pneumonia deaths, with Nigeria ranking second after India in the number of deaths arising from pneumonia; with 162,000 deaths.
Ordia also quoted a report from the Chief Executive Officer “Save the Children Foundation”, Kelvin Watkins, published on page 3 of Daily Trust newspaper of November 12 that “pneumonia claimed the lives of about 2,000 children in Nigeria under the age of five in 2018 or one child in every three minutes.”
He, however, expressed serious concern that millions of children are at risk of not celebrating their fifth birthdays as more than 40% one-year-old’s in Nigeria are unvaccinated and three in four children suffering from pneumonia symptoms do not get access to medical treatment.
According to him, most pneumonia death can be prevented with vaccines and treated with low-cost antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin DT.
In their contributions, Senators Chimaroke Nnamani (PDP Enugu Central) and Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos Central), described pneumonia as a killer disease which didn’t only affects children, but adults as well, and urged the National Assembly to use its powers in stemming the rate at which it kills Nigerians.

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