How To Avoid Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs; there are two main types of pneumonia–Lobar Pneumonia and Bronchopneumonia. Lobar pneumonia usually affects a whole section of the lung and is more common in the 30-50 years age bracket. On the other hand, bronchopneumonia affects several little areas of the two lungs and is more common in the extremes of life—under 2 years of age and over 65 years of age.

Pneumonia occurs worldwide but it is more deadly in the developing countries of Africa, South East Asia and South America where poor housing is common.
Pneumonia is one of the childhood killer diseases and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the disease accounts for about 15 percent of all childhood (under 5 years) deaths globally.   

Vaccination against pneumonia is available and recommended for children under five years and the elderly over 65 years. This has been shown to reduce the number of sickness and death from pneumonia.
In December 2014, the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced Pneumonia  Vaccine into the routine National Immunisation Programmme.   
Children are to receive three vaccinations at 2 months of age, 4 months and 12 months.
Adults over the age of 65 years are to receive one pneumonia vaccination only.

2.Avoid smoking
The health effects of cigarette smoke is due to its six major constituents:- nicotine, carbon monoxide, arsenic, lead, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and tar. However, the greatest risk comes from the tar.   
Smoking remains the most important preventable cause of illness and death, the estimated number of deaths per annum from smoking is over 4.5 million with more of this occurring in the developed world, more men die from smoking than women.
Smokers die about 10 years earlier than never-smokers, they have twice the risk of heart disease, 10 times the risk of lung cancer and several times the risk of other lung diseases including pneumonia.

3.Moderate alcohol intake
While alcohol may have some benefits when taken in moderation, the risks of alcohol of abuse are numerous. Virtually every organ of the body can be affected by alcoholic abuse with many deaths resulting from accidents, respiratory failure and breathing in of vomit.
Apart from affecting the body resistance, alcohol abuse can depress consciousness leading to aspiration of vomit, other fluids and materials. This can predispose the person to pneumonia infection.
We must therefore moderate our alcohol intake.

4.Proper hygiene
Pneumonia is an airborne disease, it spreads through droplets, dust containing the causative agents, and contact with articles contaminated by discharge from sneezing or coughing. Careless spitting on the ground can become a source of infection if the spit contains the agent. When dried up and becomes part of the dust, one can breathe it in following a wind. In a crowded place, one can also breathe in droplets from sneezing and/or coughing.
Good personal hygiene (while spitting/coughing) therefore helps in preventing the spread of pneumonia. You should cover your nose while sneezing with tissue or handkerchief, ditto when you cough. Spitting on the ground should be avoided as much as possible.

5.Good nutrition 
Good nutrition increases your ability to fight against diseases be they communicable or non-communicable. Consequently those who are poorly nourished are more prone to developing pneumonia if exposed to the disease.  

6.Good accommodation.
Pneumonia is an airborne disease, it spreads through droplets, dust containing the causative agents, and contact with articles contaminated by discharge from sneezing or coughing. 
In a crowded place, one can easily breathe in droplets from sneezing and/or coughing or come in contact with contaminated articles. 
Living in overcrowded and poorly ventilated house thus puts you at risk of contracting pneumonia.

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