What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs which makes breathing difficult and affects children. It can sometimes lead to permanent disability and death.
What causes pneumonia?
Pneumonia is mostly caused by germs in the air we breathe. But sometimes these germs can overpower your immune system, even if your health is generally good. When this happens, it can lead to pneumonia.
How is pneumonia spread?
Pneumonia is spread from one person to another through
- Contact with an infected person with coughs and sneezes
Touching contaminated surfaces, items or objects
Who is most at risk of contracting pneumonia?
Children under 5 years of age, especially those under one year of age are most at risk of contracting pneumonia.
How do I know if my child has pneumonia?
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia are cough, fever, difficulties in breathing and inability to feed. If your child shows these signs, take your child immediately to a health facility for early treatment.
Other common symptoms include:
- Rusty or green mucus coughed up from lungs
- Fast breathing and shortness of breath
- Shaking chills
- Chest pain that usually worsens when taking a deep breath
- Fast heartbeat
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pain
- Change of skin color due to poor oxygenated blood
Is there any treatment for pneumonia?
The best way to prevent pneumonia is by vaccination. But if a person has pneumonia, he/she should go to the hospital for treatment.
Is pneumonia a serious problem in Nigeria?
Yes, pneumonia is a very serious problem in Nigeria and worldwide. Worldwide, a child dies of pneumonia every 2 minutes. In Nigeria, pneumonia accounts for 20% of all deaths among children who are under 5 years.
What is Nigeria doing to prevent deaths of children from pneumonia?
Nigeria is introducing new vaccines into the immunization schedule for children under one year to help reduce childhood deaths. From December 2014, the vaccine against pneumonia called the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine or PCV10 is introduced into the EPI schedule to be taken by children under 1 year. To minimize challenges in the system, the vaccine will be introduced in 3 phases within a 4-year period.
Culled from National Primary Health Care Development Agency