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Children die of pneumonia in Nigeria more than any other country in the world – Report

Nigeria accounts for 162,000 deaths, India 127,000, Pakistan 58,000, Democratic of Congo 40,000 and Ethiopia 32,000 deaths.


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Pneumonia affects the lungs

Nigeria is the worst place on earth for children to catch pneumonia, says a new report as the country records the highest number of pneumonia deaths globally.

According to the report by Save the Children, globally, 802,000 children under the age of five died from pneumonia in 2018 and five of the countries are responsible for more than half of the deaths. Nigeria accounts for 162,000 deaths, India 127,000, Pakistan 58,000, Democratic of Congo 40,000 and Ethiopia 32,000 deaths.

Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel as Nigeria’s celebrity DJ, and daughter of oil mogul, Femi Otedola, Cuppy Otedola has thrown herself into the ring in the fight against the scourge.

DJ Cuppy, who is the Save the Children Ambassador, promised that the over N5.1 billion raised recently at a gala night would be given to Save the Children to tackle malnutrition and pneumonia in Nigeria.

Also, read Nearly half of Nigerian children under 5 suffering stunted growth - UNICEF

The founder of Cuppy Foundation urged Nigerians to help in tackling the epidemic as well as provide clean water and reduce air pollution.

Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children, Kevin Watkins, who spoke at a news conference to mark the World Pneumonia Day on Monday in Abuja, lamented that pneumonia is the world’s leading infectious killer of children under the age five, yet not so much attention is paid to the killer disease even though it could be prevented through vaccination.

Watkins said that the data got from the United Nations (UN) Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation 2019 and Save the Children’s Child Inequality Tracker lamented that the disease is a forgotten global health epidemic that demands a greater international response; millions of children are dying for want of vaccines, affordable antibiotics and routine oxygen treatment.

He said that recent analysis found out that Nigerian children born in poorest households were nearly three times more likely to die from diseases like pneumonia before their fifth birthday compared to the children born in rich households, adding that pneumonia crisis is a symptom of neglect and indefensible inequalities in access to healthcare.

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