Last year, more than four children in Uganda on average died of Pneumonia every day according to UNICEF an international organization responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children.
The latest report from UNICEF indicate that from 2018 to 2019 there were over 2,500,000 cases of pneumonia in children less than 5 years in Uganda, and 1,508 deaths due to pneumonia were registered during the same period.
Pneumonia is a condition that causes children to fight for their breath, filling their lungs with fluid and pus.
Newborns and children with weakened immune systems are vulnerable to this infection, and most children who die from pneumonia are born in poverty stricken areas, with low levels of access to frontline health workers who can prevent, protect, diagnose and treat pneumonia.
According to the global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea, Pneumonia claims the lives of over 800,000 children under the age of five each year. While malaria is the leading cause of deaths in Africa and Uganda in particular, globally pneumonia kills more children than any other disease.
However, almost all deaths are preventable. According to UNICEF, strong Primary Health Care is important to both preventing and treating pneumonia.
Pneumonia can be prevented if newborns and children are breastfed early, or vaccinated against the infection. There should be limited exposure to children to air pollution, and ensuring access to clean water and good nutrition -UNICEF says.
Efforts to reach the Director General Health services at Ministry of Health Dr. Henry Mwebesa for a comment were futile as his phone remained unanswered.