By Olayinka Latona & Busola Likolo
The Paediatric Association of Nigeria, PAN, wants parents to immunise their children against pneumonia as from the sixth week of life till they turn five years.
Speaking during a campaign programme organised for market women in Mushin Lagos, to commemorate this year’s World Pneumonia Day, National Secretary, PAN, Dr. Ekanem Ekure said prompt immunisation goes a long way to curb pneumonia, the 2nd biggest killer of children in the country.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. It is characterised primarily by inflammation of the lungs’ tissues.
Ekure regretted that most of the deaths that resulted from the disease were due to lack of knowledge as pneumonia is treatable and preventable. She however hoped that the campaign programme would go a long way to redress the situation. She urged mothers to take their babies to hospital early enough for proper diagnosis and treatment, adding that early detection would enhance proper treatment.
“It is a very serious condition, pneumonia can make a person very sick or even cause death; the disease can occur in young and healthy people.“Adults have a way of fighting against it unlike babies, hence more care should be taken while nursing them,” she said.
Assistant Secretary, PAN, Dr. Jide Ojo said cold, which was always attributed to pneumonia, was not the major cause, though it could predispose one to pneumonia.
She said babies should be kept warm and indoors to prevent pneumonia infection from the dirty environment.