130 thousand Nigerian children die from pneumonia annually – Health agency

Bronchial Pneumonia. Photo: usimd.com

 A high number of Nigerian children lose their lives to pneumonia annually

Health authorities in Nigeria have said 130 thousand Nigerian children die from pneumonia annually.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Ado Muhammad, said this in Abuja on Friday while briefing newsmen on plans to commemorate the World Pneumonia Day on Monday.

“A staggering 130 thousand figure of Nigerian children are lost to pneumonia every year, the second highest number of child death in the world.

“Less than half of all children with suspected pneumonia are taken for treatment and just 23 per cent receive antibiotics in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr. Muhammad said families of low income earners are more at risk of pneumonia attack. He said the Federal Government introduced, in 2012, the pentavelent vaccine that protected children against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and haemophillus influenza type B.

“The vaccines have been introduced in 14 states in the phase one with seven more states to go,” he said.

The health official said to ensure that the country is free of pneumonia; the government would also introduce pneumonia conjugate vaccine, PCV, in 2013 to target the leading causes of pneumonia.

He said the government would also increase access to antibiotic treatment for children with pneumonia.

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