By Adi Angyu
Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA) has commenced state wide vaccination of children under-one year of age against pneumonia disease.
Pneumonia an infection of the lungs is caused by bacteria which can sometimes lead to permanent disability and death.
The Executive chairman of the Agency, Pharmacist Adamu Ibrahim Gamawa, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the newly introduced Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) in Nigeria at the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Bauchi.
He lament that Nigeria is one of the ten countries with the greatest burden of pneumococcal disease that claims the live of approximately 177,000, under five children annually in Nigeria with fatality rates of about 20 per cent for pneumonia and fifty percent for meningitis.
“The exercise is in three stages, and Bauchi and 15 other states including Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are in the last phase that starts this month July, 2016.
The chairman stressed that children under five years of age are at great risk of the disease that can even lead to their death, if not properly treated or protected.
Pharmacist Gamawa called on parents to vaccinate their children adding that the PCVs are made available in all health facilities across the state.
He emphasized that the PCV vaccination is the most effective method of preventing pneumococcal disease.
He cautioned that the disease can be transmitted through droplet spread, contact with surfaces contaminated with the secretions as well as direct contact with respiratory secretions from patients or healthy carriers.
“The risk of pneumococcal disease can be reduced through hand washing with soap, exclusive breast feeding for the first 6 months, reducing indoor air pollution and proper treatment of symptoms,” he advised.