Tuesday Dec 28 2021

Pneumonia kills over 7,000 children under 5 in Sindh

  • As many as 27,136 children under age of five affected by pneumonia in Sindh. 
  • More than 60% of cases come from rural areas.
  • Disease rates can be reduced by vaccinating children when they turn 6, 10, and 14 months old. 

As many as 7,462 children have died and 27,136 children under the age of five have been affected by the deadly pneumonia virus in Sindh, the director-general of the provincial health department said.

"More than 46 children over the age of five died and 8,534 people — including children and adults — suffered from Pneumonia in 2021," he said. 

The statement further added that "more than 60% of cases pertained to the rural areas and the rest are from the urban part of the province."

These numbers represent the children and people in general who have accessed government health facilities in the province. 

According to the Pakistan Pediatric Association's (PPA) former president professor Iqbal Memon said that Pneumonia is the number one cause of death among children.

However, it can be reduced by vaccinating them when they turn 6, 10, and 14 months old, respectively. 

Unfortunately, most of the children do not get vaccinated, he said.

Another senior member of the PPA, Dr Khalid Shafi, said that the cited toll is only from government health facilities.

He further said that there are a number of private health facilities in the entire province where most of the children go for their treatment, adding that approximately 90 thousand children die annually in Pakistan due to the virus.

"We have urged the parents to administer their children Pneumonia (Pneumococcal) vaccine at the right time," adding that the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) coverage of Sindh needs to be increased to keep the situation from getting worst. 

— AFP/File.