State raises alarm over pneumonia mortality rate

Friday, November 13th, 2020 09:00 |
World Pneumonia day commemoration.

The government yesterday raised alarm over the threat posed by pneumonia in the country.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said the disease claims the lives of over 800,000 children under the age of five years in the country annually, which is more than 2,000 daily.

Dr Mwangangi spoke when she led the nation in signing the National Childhood Pneumonia Declaration as the world marked the World Pneumonia Day.

Mwangangi said that the declaration was a commitment by the government to keep the promise to stop pneumonia, which is the leading cause of death in children under five years in the country.

The event was held at the Kiambu Level 5 Hospital grounds and was attended by area governor James Nyoro and Child health partners including PATH, Save The Children, Living Goods and then Kenya Paediatric Association.

Mwangangi said that viruses, bacteria and fungi cause pneumonia and that the same protocols being used to contain Covid-19 pandemic are used to contain it.

‘The disease is almost similar to Covid-19 and it not only related to children but also adults, she said adding that pneumonia is a form of an acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs just as Covid-19 is.

Signs and symptom’s of pneumonia includes coughing, fast breathing, fever, wheezing, hypothermia and convulsions as well as lack of appetite.

“The disease is prevented through personal and food preparation hygiene, exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months which strengthens infants immune system and promotion of adequate nutrition for children,” she said.

On the upsurge of Covid-19 infections in the country, Dr Mwangangi called upon Kenyans to continue adhering to all the laid down protocols in order to remain safe.

“The protocols are not meant to please the President or Kagwe but individual Kenyans and therefore everyone should adhere to them,’ she said.

She said the government would continue to insist on home based care for Covid-19 patients which she noted is the best method of treating the disease more so because they get full time attention from relatives and health care workers.

Nyoro said that the county is doing everything possible to contain Covid-19 which he said is increasing at an alarming rate. 

“We as a government have invested heavily in the health sector and especially towards the fight against Covid-19.

We have ensured that oxygen is installed in bulk in our Level 5 hospitals and particularly the Tigoni Covid-19 centre in Limuru which has 330 beds with oxygen supply fitted in each.”

He, however, said the county is overwhelmed by the influx of patients from the neighbouring counties particularly Nairobi who drain it’s health resources.

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