Two million children may die of pneumonia in next decade
No fewer than two million Nigerian children may die in the next decade if concerted efforts are not made to fight pneumonia.However, an estimated 809,000 of the deaths could be averted by significantly scaling up services to prevent and treat pneumonia.
A statement by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), revealed that malnutrition, lack of access to vaccines and antibiotics are the cause of preventable deaths from pneumonia, which killed a child every three minutes in Nigeria last year.
It noted that boosting pneumonia services would create an additional ripple effect’ in preventing 1.2 million extra child deaths from other major childhood diseases at the same time.
Citing a research by Johns Hopkins University being released at the world’s first global conference on childhood pneumonia in Barcelona, UNICEF observed that improving nutrition, increasing vaccine coverage and boosting breastfeeding rates– key measures that reduce the risk of children dying from pneumonia, would also stop thousands of child deaths from diseases like diarrhea (580,000), meningitis (68,000), measles (55,000) and malaria (4,000).
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