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Pneumonia second leading cause of under-5 deaths — Report


[FILES] New report says, pneumonia is the second leading cause of such deaths

A new report has revealed that of the more than six million children under age of five that die each year, pneumonia is the second leading cause of such deaths, with 880,000 deaths recorded in 2016.

The finding also revealed that half of the global deaths from pneumonia happen in only five countries, one of which is Nigeria. University College London, University College Hospital Ibadan, University of Melbourne and Johns, Hopkins University conducted the research between November 2018 and June 2019.

Speaking at the presentation of the report by Save the Children International in Lagos, Prof. Adegoke Falade of University College Hospital, Ibadan, said exclusive breastfeeding and immunisation would reduce the risk of pneumonia morbidity and mortality. He lamented that despite renewed commitments to prevent childhood deaths from common infections, mortality rates of children under the age of five are still unacceptably high.

Falade noted that Nigerian children under-five mortality rate were 120/1,000 live births in 2017, considerably higher than the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 25/2,000 live births, which should be achieved by 2030.

He said: “The mortality rate due to pneumonia specifically was reported as 19/1,000 in 2016. Nigeria is not on target to reach these goals, therefore there is a clear need for evidence-based and sustainable approaches to target childhood infections and specifically pneumonia.”

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