Pneumonia has overtaken malaria as the number one killer disease among children under the age of five in Nigeria.
A report by the International Vaccines Access Centre (IVAC) revealed that the disease was responsible for 127,000 child deaths in the country last year.
This was disclosed on Monday in Abuja at an event held to mark the World Pneumonia Day
“Pneumonia is now the leading cause of child deaths in Nigeria, a position previously held by malaria over the years. In 2015, about 17 per cent (127,000 deaths) and 10 per cent (75,000) of all under-five deaths were caused by pneumonia and diarrhoea, respectively”, the report stated.
To assist Nigerians in the treatment of Pneumonia, a drug manufacturing company, GSK, said it has placed a 10-year price freeze on drugs for the disease as the country graduates from the Global Alliance for Vaccinations International (GAVI) funds.
“We are supporting the immunization programme, we are providing the vaccines that are used for the prevention of pneumonia in children”, Medical Director of GSK, Lana Odunuga, said.
“And one of the things I highlighted, part of our own support is actually to make sure that even at a time when Nigeria graduates from GAVI fund, which will eventually happen, Nigeria will still be able to access the vaccines at the same price at which they are getting it now.
“In addition to that, we have also tried to make it possible to reduce the cost a child pays for vaccines in Nigeria by one dollar,” he stated.
Mr. Odunuga however said that the country was on the right track in dealing with pneumonia.