The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja stated that pneumonia remained the second highest killer disease among infants aged between zero to five years, after malaria. According to statistics, these deaths are most prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, while Nigeria accounts for 143,000 deaths out of the nearly one million pneumonia deaths in that age group in 2012 globally. The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, said this at a press briefing in commemoration of this year’s World Pneumonia/Prematurity Day in Abuja.
He said, “Globally, pneumonia is the leading single cause of under-five deaths. Pneumonia mostly affects the marginalised and the poorest children, accounting for 18 per cent of cause of death in under-five and killing about one million children globally yearly. “Globally, evidence has shown that pneumonia death can be substantially reduced with simple practices such as exclusive breast feeding in the first six months, vaccination, hand washing with soap and water and safe environment via reduction of air pollution, especially if persistent and integrated approach is adopted. “To improve continuum of care along the health system, the Integrated Community Case Management of pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria was also adopted as a cornerstone strategy for tackling these major causes of under-five deaths.”