An NGO, Save-D-Future Foundation, on Friday called on mothers to regularly take their children for screening and ensure preventive measures against pneumonia.
The NGO’s Coordinator, Mrs Elizabeth Tukura spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gwagwalada, shortly after a sensitisation programme to mark this year’s World Pneumonia Day.
NAN reports that World Pneumonia Day is observed internationally every Nov. 12, to raise awareness about one of the most infectious and killers of infants worldwide.
Tukura said the theme of this year’s celebration “Fighting for Breath, A Call to Action in Childhood Pneumonia” was aimed at creating awareness on the dangers and prevention of pneumonia.
“Every day should be considered world pneumonia day, because the disease is the leading cause of death of children all over the world.
“Pneumonia is essentially a lung infection which can be serious and life-threatening; the infection can be viral, bacterial or fungal.
“It causes inflammation in lungs, wherein alveoli or tiny air sacs inside lungs get filled with liquid and can lead to death of children,” she said.
According to her, the organisation is committed to helping Nigerian children and will continue to support the fight against pneumonia in the country.
Tukura said that one million lives could be saved in the next five years from Pneumonia prevention and treatment, adding that two children under five die from the infection every day.
The coordinator, however, called for a review of the National Health Insurance Act to make health insurance mandatory for all Nigerians, especially those living in rural communities.
“Although lots of lives would be saved by immunising children against the disease, about 150 million children globally are yet to receive the vaccine.
“It said about 5.3million lives could be saved from pneumonia over the next 15 years, but about 735,000 children could die in 2030 alone, if the current trend of treatment and prevention remains.
“Nigeria and other countries have also been urged to step up fight against the disease as it is the most infectious killer of infants all over the world,” she said.
Tukura, who said that it was important for every Nigerian child to be immunised, also called on the Federal Government, NGOs, CSOs and the private sector to work together in tackling the disease. (NAN)