With a high record of children under five dying from pneumonia, medical experts have said that urgent intervention is needed to save Nigeria from becoming the country with the highest burden of deaths from the disease by 2030. They also called for more immunization and adequate nutrition for children.
Speaking at a round table session in Lagos recently, a Public Health Specialist with Save the Children International, Dr. Olutosin Adeoye, said malnourished and poorly immunized or unimmunized children are mostly at risk of pneumonia, adding that Nigeria, India, Pakistan and DR Congo will continue to bear the highest burden of deaths among under-five years old, if no action is taken.
Following recent studies indicating that pneumonia could kill nearly 11 million children by 2030 (Johns Hopkins and Save the Children, 2018), the expert said most of these preventable deaths would take place in Nigeria if urgent action was not taken.
According to Adeoye, women are key factors in the fight against pneumonia. “If women will do exclusive breastfeeding for their babies for the first six months, it will boost their children’s immunity and protect them from pneumonia among other diseases”.