Home News 210,557 Nigerian children die of Pneumonia this year.

210,557 Nigerian children die of Pneumonia this year.

by hr

By Ndidi Chukwu

A global report published by John Hopkins International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) said 210,557 children in Nigeria have died from pneumonia and diarrhoea this year. The report said the findings is 28 percent of the 750,000 children aged under five who died this year alone. Pneumonia and diarrhoea from the records are rated the second and third highest causes of child deaths in Nigeria.

John Hopkins global report monitors progress against both diseases in 15 countries with the largest burden in the wake of the new Sustainable Development Goals, with the social media campaign #BeatPneumonia.

A social media video challenge has also been launched in commemoration of World Pneumonia Day in Abuja, in hopes of combating the disease by supporting families to immunize their children. Based on the results of the findings, IVAC has warned Nigeria has reason for “cautious optimism” considering that it missed set targets under Millennium Development Goals to improve children’s health and survival. Under-five mortality dropped  from  213  to  109  deaths per 1000 live births between 1990 and 2015 –  a 49%  decline  in  the  risk  of  child  death,” said Dr Chizoba Wonodi, Nigeria Country Lead for IVAC, at events marking World Pneumonia Day in Abuja.

“But 750,000 Nigerian children died in 2015, largely from preventable  causes.  So, while we have made good progress, we are still  too  far  from fulfilling the “Promise Renewed” of ending preventable child deaths.”

“We are yet to beat pneumonia. From the year 2000 to 2013, the number of under-five children dying annually from pneumonia has remained practically unchanged.
In  contrast,  child  deaths  from  malaria  and  measles  declined  by  34%  and  97% respectively.”

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)—introduced recently by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency—helps prevent onset of at least 10 diseases related to the pneumococcus microorganism which brings on infections. Immunisation with PCV “is a safe and effective means of protecting children against pneumococcal diseases and therefore the disease will occur less frequently in vaccinated children,” said Dr Ado Muhammad, executive director of the agency.

“Encouraging completion of the immunization schedule with pentavalent, measles vaccines and all other vaccines is an important action plan for prevention of pneumonia,” Muhammad added.

A pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline has announced a 10-year price freeze of pneumococcal vaccines to enable Nigeria continue to purchase vaccines at prices meant for low-income countries still dependent on support from the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI).
GAVI support pools donor funds from around the world to pay for vaccines used in low-income countries, but Nigeria’s rebasing its economy has made the country no longer eligible for that support by 2021.

According to Dr Olakunle Oladehin, cluster medical leader for GSK’s sub-Saharan Africa division, the plan is to ensure that Nigeria after graduating from GAVI eligibility continues to enjoy the same GAVI from GSK to sustain vaccination.” The tendency is that if Nigeria graduates from GAVI and we revert to regular price, it may be an inhibition for government to continue to procure vaccines.”


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