Pneumonia: How Early Treatment Saved Our Children – Mothers
Why 1.4m Children Might Die From Pneumonia in Nigeria – SCI
Pneumonia: Don’t Do Self-Medication – SCI
…. Call For Regular Mobile Routine Immunization
30year-old Tawakaltu Sanni, mother of one and a half-year-old twins, narrated how one of the twins started with fever, catarrh and cough.
“I completed their Immunization for them and did exclusive breastfeeding. When he started with the fever, catarrh and cough, I gave him Vitamin C before taking him to a private hospital in our area for treatment. We were later transferred to the general hospital in our area.” Sanni explained.
The current state of Pneumonia infection in the country is quite alarming as Nigeria now occupies number three position in Pneumonia cases globally.
In correcting the situation, Save The Children International, SCI, has been involved in many activities to curb the menace of Pneumonia and other childhood diseases.
While narrating their experiences to Journalists during a media workshop organized by Save the Children International, Nigeria, Mrs. Tawa Sanni and Mrs. Toyin Ashiru-Balogun, emphasized the need for parents, most especially mothers, to seek for medical intervention on time whenever they notice symptoms of Pneumonia and other related childhood diseases.
And these are some of the many undocumented cases of Pneumonia in the country.
In his presentation during a media workshop organized by Save the Children International, Nigeria, a Child Health Specialist working with SCI Nigeria, Dr. Ibrahim Seriki, made it known that available statistics showed that more than 40 percent of children under the age of one in Nigeria are unvaccinated against Pneumococcal disorders.
Also, data made public by UNICEF revealed that Nigeria accounted for the highest pneumonia death globally with a total of 162,000 deaths in 2018.
Narrating her experience further, 37-year-old Mrs Toyin Asiru Balogun who had her 5year-old child treated at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, said that her children have always been having asthma symptoms because their father is asthmatic.
“When I noticed that she had cough, complaints of chest pain, I placed her on Ventolin syrup before taking her to the private hospital, before we were referred to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.”
“The difficulty in breathing made us did chest x-ray, blood test among other tests, and she was placed on oxygen.”
“It was indeed a very scary situation but
parents should not do self medication as the doctors here have advised us. It’s not the best at all.
We did several tests in order to ascertain the true situation of things. Despite all the challenges and troubles, General Hospital is better of than self-medication or any private hospital. People will tell you that they will delay you among other excuses not to go, but I was determined to do all necessary tests.”
She gave example of one of such messy incidents where they gave drugs that ended up perforating the intestines of the baby in question without doing the necessary tests.
She therefore supported the idea of getting treatment from standard hospitals no matter the challenges.
During the training too, Journalists were taken through the various projects SCI Nigeria has been doing and has plans of implementing.
Some of these focused on capacity building of health workers in case management of common childhood illnesses, social and behavioural change communication, as well as the advocacy, awareness creation.
“The Inspiring Project, an initiative of Save the Children, is committed to reducing deaths from Pneumonia and other preventable infectious diseases in the country. The Project which is being implemented in Ikorodu Local Government Area in Lagos State and Kiyawa LGA in Jigawa State, is designed to strengthen health service delivery in immunisation , supply chain and health management information system.” Dr. Seriki explained.
According to him projections have shown that no less than 1.4 million children that are aged Under-5 could die from Pneumonia over the next decade in Nigeria if urgent steps are not taken to check the high burden of the disease through immunisation.
Even with many commendable policies and protocols established for coordination of Pneumonia control by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria still has a very high burden of Pneumococcal disorders and there is still a very huge gap management and implementation.
All concerned stakeholders interviewed also called for commencement of regular mobile routine Immunization programs most especially in the wake of the destruction of some primary health care centres in Lagos at the just concluded ENDSARS protest.
They all agreed with the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown had its negative effect on Immunization coupled with the destruction in the wake of the violent protest.
In addition, Dr. Seriki emphasised the need for improvement in the routine immunization of children with PCV and Pentavalent vaccine, to ensure that they are fully immunized before their first-year birthday.