700,000 Children Die Annually From Pneumonia – Paediatrician

Written by Godwin Duru

A pediatrician at the Federal Medical center, Birnin Kudu in Jigawa state Dr. Ummah Idris says it is estimated by the World Health Organization WHO that at least one child under the age of five is dying every 45 seconds globally.

She disclosed this in her keynote address at Child Rights Advocacy Clubs Activities held at Federal Government College Kiyawa, Jigawa State to mark world pneumonia day.

She further explained that, pneumonia remained the major cause of childhood mortality, especially among those living in low and middle income countries with an estimation of over seven million children admitted to hospitals with pneumonia causing low levels of oxygen in their blood, requiring urgent oxygen treatment to survive annually.

Dr Ummah noted that, at least one child under five dies every 45 seconds from pneumonia, which means more than 700,000 children die every year globally.

According to her, pneumonia is a largely preventable and treatable disease but still gets less attention from government and other stakeholders.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the state ministry of health, Dr. Salisu Mu’azu pointed out that, the state government had institutionalized an oxygen policy and supply management system.

“We have made oxygen to be part of medicines and would soon start procurement and supply of oxygen therapy in each of the primary healthcare facilities across the state for the emergency treatment of pneumonia patients”. 

According to him, Save the Children International intervention in pneumonia in the state has demonstrated the need to have an effective chain of oxygen supply in all health facilities in the state.

Mu’azu commended SCI for their intervention which include the supply of medical equipment, manpower training and community engagement.

He added that, SCI contributed to the increase of immunization coverage and reduction of child mortality in the state.

Dr. Salisu Mu’azu

The theme of this Year’s World Pneumonia Day is “Championing the fight against Pneumonia”.

Usman Mohammed Zaria