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Pneumonia epidemic grows worse in Nigeria

Pneumonia epidemic grows worse in Nigeria
Photo by Pulmonary Pathology- Ask Nigeria

Nigeria records the highest air pollution-related pneumonia deaths in the world.

According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the highest number of air pollution-related pneumonia deaths of under-five children in the world. The air pollution occurs mostly at home from open fire or cooking stoves. In 17 African countries, 50 per cent of pneumonia deaths are caused by air pollution. Many of the deaths occur among children and are caused by household air pollution. In 2019, the deaths of children under the age of five were due to all kinds of air pollution-related pneumonia and reached 67,416 deaths, while deaths due to household-specific air pollution-related pneumonia were 49,591 in the same year.

Pneumonia is a disease, caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, which fill the lungs of children with puss and fluid, leaving them to fight for breath. It has the highest record of children deaths in Nigeria, causing 17 percent of the deaths of children under-five. About 443 Nigerians die per day, leading to an equivalent of 18 deaths per hour. The situation is worsened by increasing overpopulation in places like Lagos State which records many cases of pneumonia.

The use of vaccines and antibiotics could prevent the epidemic.

The Chief Nursing Officer of Ita Elewa Centre, a health center in Ikorodu, Lagos, stated that he attends to about 200 patients every day and almost 10,000 in a month, most of which are suffering from air pollution-related pneumonia. He also complained of insufficient supply of oxygen for the use of patients which has also contributed to the loss of lives. Although, charitable donations from Save the Children and the British pharmaceutical company (GSK) have made efforts to alleviate the situation through the provision of oxygen canisters and additional training to assist health officials with the early identification of pneumonia cases, so as to administer life-saving treatment.

Many pneumonia deaths are preventable through the use of vaccines and treatment with low-cost antibiotics. However, over 43 percent of one-year-olds in Nigeria have not received the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), with one in four Nigerian children suffering from symptoms having no access to medical treatment. The fight against pneumonia in Nigeria is not an easy one, but organizations like GSK and Save the Children have been working towards the improvement of skills and knowledge, in the region.

Save the Children and GSK assist Nigeria in the fight against pneumonia.

Poor access to good healthcare facilities and available information contribute to pneumonia deaths in remote regions of Nigeria. In Jigawa State, for example, there is a likelihood that its residents are ignorant of the prevention of pneumonia and how it is treated. Some communities in this state, however, are now enlightened on pneumonia, as they benefit from small groups of well-informed community health workers and citizens, endorsed by Save the Children and GSK’s program, who help to fight against the pneumonia epidemic.

Also, there have been really low rates of vaccination in the state, coupled with the reality that over 12-23 month-olds children were not immunized with the pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, a protection from pneumonia. Mobile vaccination teams attempt the provision of life-saving treatment to the children, through the use of motorbikes, to reach the most inaccessible regions. This is done to ensure that every child receives three doses of the PCV within an interval of four weeks, for a proper prevention from the epidemic.

Nigerian households should have more access to clean cooking fuels.

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, urged the Nigerian government to establish policies for the reduction of the main causes of air pollution-related pneumonia deaths in Nigeria; especially in children. One of the ways of achieving this is by granting Nigerian households more access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, thereby increasing the use of LPG gas for cooking, and assisting families with financing the cost of clean stoves and fuels. There should also be an improvement in the services designed to diagnose and treat pneumonia, improve nutrition, vaccine coverage and breastfeeding rates. With all these in place, there will be an improvement in the health of children, leading to a reduction in the risk of death, even after contraction.


Related Links

UNICEF: Website

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25 comments
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Ask Nigeria
26 days ago

Pneumonia epidemic grows worse in NigeriaNigeria records the highest air pollution-related pneumonia deaths in the world. Express your point of view.

Tolaniiii
Member
25 days ago

The problem is made much worse by the rising number of people living in certain areas, such as Lagos State, which has a high incidence of pneumonia cases, and Overpopulation will always make it worse.

Bola12
Member
25 days ago

Damn, the amount of Pneumonia deaths we are having in this country is too high, and we need the government to come to our aid because we can’t keep living like this.

Remi1
Member
25 days ago

Pneumonia is very dangerous, especially for kids; the government needs to set up preventive measures that will ensure yaw kids are safe

Taiwoo
Member
25 days ago

If we, the citizens, try taking care of our environment and not pollute everywhere, we might be able to combat Pneumonia.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
25 days ago

Children who have pneumonia struggle to breathe because their lungs get clogged with pus and fluid as a result of the condition, which bacteria, viruses, or fungus may have caused. It should be treated urgently.

Christiana
Member
25 days ago

Children are very quickly prone to Pneumonia because their immune system is still fragile and they would not be able to handle the disease like that of an adult.

Abusi
Member
25 days ago

The government should provide enough vaccination for people. It’s clear pneumonia is getting out of hand. We should partner with World Health Organization to find a lasting solution to the problem.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
25 days ago

The government of Nigeria should formulate strategies for the elimination of the primary factors that contribute to mortality in Nigeria due to pneumonia caused by air pollution.

Tonerol10
Member
25 days ago

Government lack a lot in this country, the country is worse in many things. No good health system in the country. My advice is, our celebrities that have the money should support to build our health system. Pneumonia is a disease that we need to fight

Adeolastan
Member
25 days ago

Nigeria is seriously lack behinds in providing quality healthcare to her citizens and which is very bad.Apart from not having good equipment for accurate diagnosis,the issue of not having enough hands and competent heath worker is also a concern.Government should subsidise both the test and the drug and also employ more hands in all public hospital so that citizen can have easy access to the facility.

Mercy unisex saloon
Member
25 days ago

Pneumonia epidemic in Nigeria is not a good statistics to cheer about. The lack of adequate power supply is a major cause for this. Poor air pollution in the dwelling houses results to pneumonia. Govt has a major role to play when it comes to the wellness of the citizens.

Yomii
Member
25 days ago

Increasing public awareness of the risks associated with pneumonia illness and the factors contributing to its transmission can assist in slowing the disease’s progression. The government ought to assist in providing easy access to medical care and facilities.

Iyanu12345ogg
Member
25 days ago

Creating awareness programs to enlighten the people about the cause and effects of pneumonia disease will help. Government should help with funds, equipments and other necessary things needed for treating the ailment.

Last edited 25 days ago by Iyanu12345ogg
Adesanyaj72
Member
25 days ago

Our air is easily polluted by various smoke from generators, cars, bush burning and the likes when we cease from them; everything should be alright

Khalifa001
Member
25 days ago

Nigeria has the highest number of air pollution-related pneumonia deaths of under-five children in the world because our government and we the people ourselves aren’t taken responsibility to take care of our environment

Hassan Isa
Member
25 days ago

The government should find a way to improve the health sector so we will be able to conquer diseases like this.

Chibuzor
Member
25 days ago

Many people are not enlightened enough to know the dangers of Pneumonia. The government should try and create more awareness about it.

Kazeem1
Member
25 days ago

Vaccinations and treatment with antibiotics that are not too expensive can avert a significant number of deaths caused by pneumonia, but some people can’t afford it

AN-Abiodun
Member
25 days ago

A lot of harm is evolving from our daily activities.

And most people are ignorant about this fact, so people need to be enlightened to prevent further harm.

Haykaylyon26
Member
25 days ago

Awareness of about disease should perform so people will know the danger of the disease. They say prevention is better than cure, let people know how to prevent this disease rather than been caught by the disease then try to cure it

theApr
Member
25 days ago

Ignorance can be really dangerous. Creating awareness about the causes, symptoms, and prevention of pneumonia would go a long way and help reduce the death rate.

SarahDiv
Member
25 days ago

Nigerians need to be educated about pneumonia. The reason why we are having more people getting infected is because we are not fully aware of what can lead to pneumonia, hence the need to create awareness about the disease. Government have major roles to play in regards to this effect.

DimOla
Member
25 days ago

Creating awareness about the dangers and what is responsible for pneumonia sickness will help to reduce it’s spread. Government should help in releasing funds for the treatment of the ailment.

jdpumping
Member
25 days ago

Kudos to Gsk and save our children for their effort but more needs to be done the rise in infants death is so alarming this is unacceptable,More awareness and supports from the government is needed in this area.

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