The Lagos Ministry of Health has called for an improvement in the routine immunization of children with PCV and pentavalent vaccine, to ensure that they are fully immunized before their first-year birthday.
Making this call during the annual celebration of World pneumonia Day organised by Save the Children International Under its INSPIRING Project, the Lagos State Child Survival Strategic Coordinator Dr. Ogaga S.A revealed that the State government has been embarking on several routine immunization programs to reduce and control the incidence of pneumonia in the state.
“The Lagos State Government has been embarking on several activities to strengthen routine immunization in order to reduce the incidence of pneumonia and also to control it,” she said.
Pointing out that immunization and adequate nutrition are ways to prevent Pneumonia, Dr. Ogaga, stressed the need to address environmental factors such as air pollution in overcrowded homes.
Stressing the need to pay more attention to pneumonia prevention, Dr. Ogaga who citied a UNICEF forecast stated that about 1.4 million children under-5 could die from pneumonia over the next decade in Nigeria explained that gaps exist despite policy, guidelines, protocols established for coordination of pneumonia control by the Federal Ministry of Health.
Ogaga further pointed out the need to train and retrain more frontline healthcare providers.
Emphasizing the need for an improvement in the insufficient data on pneumonia in Lagos, Ogaga said that more works need to be done on survey approaches to understand the risk of pediatric pneumonia.
Also speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of health Olusegun Ogboye revealed that the state government was doing a lot of work to ensure that death caused by pneumonia in the state is minimized.
“There is a lot of work the Lagos State government is doing towards minimizing death from pneumonia,” He said.
A UNICEF statistic reveals that Nigeria in 2018 accounted for the highest pneumonia death globally with a total of 162,000 deaths.
Nigeria currently stands at the Number three spot on the list of countries with the highest cases of Pneumonia in the world.