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Nigeria risks loosing 2million children to pneumonia in 10years- New research

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Nigeria risks loosing 2million children to pneumonia in 10years- New research

Aminat Isah, Abuja

A new research analysis has has found out that boosting efforts to fight pneumonia by the Nigerian government could avert over 2 million child deaths from pneumonia and other major diseases in Nigeria in 10years.

This is as stated by a modelling carried out by Johns Hopkins University and released today as nine leading health and children’s agencies host the world’s first global conference on childhood pneumonia in Barcelona.

The forecasts show that 1.4 million children under the age of five could die from pneumonia over the next decade in Nigeria, on current trends, the highest number of any country in the world and more than 20 percent of childhood deaths from pneumonia globally.

The modelling however estimated that 809,000 of these deaths would be averted by significantly scaling up services to prevent and treat pneumonia.

Researchers also found out that boosting pneumonia services would create an additional ‘ripple effect, preventing 1.2 million extra child deaths from other major childhood diseases at the same time.

The report also state that Interventions like improving nutrition, increasing vaccine coverage or boosting breastfeeding rates, are key measures that reduce the risk of children dying from pneumonia, and would also stop thousands of child deaths from diseases like diarrhoea (580,000), meningitis (68,000), measles (55,000) and malaria (4,000).

By 2030, that effect would be so large that pneumonia interventions alone would avert over 2 million predicted under-five child deaths in Nigeria from all causes combined, researchers said.

Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs fill with pus and fluid.

The disease is the leading killer of children in Nigeria, causing 19 percent of under-five deaths.

Most pneumonia deaths can be prevented with vaccines, and easily treated with low-cost antibiotics. But more than 40 percent of one-year-olds in Nigeria are unvaccinated, and three in four children suffering from pneumonia symptoms do not get access to medical treatment.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria’s Country Representative in his words said, ” We have a responsibility to do all we can to avert these deaths by pneumonia , deaths that are nearly all preventable.

According to Hawkins, it will take concerted action by all players. The announcement by the Nigerian government of the world’s first-ever pneumonia control strategy, coupled with the focus, globally on combatting pneumonia, is a huge step forward.

“We now need to follow this with concrete action on the ground to address the causes and drivers of childhood pneumonia deaths in this country,”He said

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Nigeria risks loosing 2million children to pneumonia in 10years- New research

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