Cold not a risk factor of Pneumonia – medical expert

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A medical expert, Dr. (Mrs) Ogenetega Idaboh has disclosed that cold does not cause pneumonia as widely believed.

Idaboh made the disclosure on Wednesday in Asaba in a paper presentation at the event marking the 2023 World Pneumonia Day celebration.

The event was organised by the Delta State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) with support from UNICEF.

Idaboh, who is the State Coordinator of the PAN-UNICEF Pneumonia Project in Delta, said that pneumonia, along with malaria and diarrhea are the leading causes of death among children under the age of five years.

“Pneumonia is a killer ailment and it has been defined as an inflamation of lung parenchyma due to pathogenic micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.

“Over the years, many people believe that pneumonia is caused by exposure to cold. But that is not the case. Inshort, cold is not even among the risk factors that causes pneumonia.

“The major causes of pneumonia among under five children are malnutition, lack of extensive breastfeeding, pollution, congestion among others”, Idaboh said.

Earlier in a welcome address, the permanent secretary, Delta State Ministry of Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Philomena Okeowo said that pneumonia remained a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children than any other infectious diseases.

According to her, pneumonia posed a formidable challenge to the efforts of the government and its partners to build a heathier and more prosperous society.

“Today’s gathering is not only a reflection of our collective commitment to the health and well-being of our communities, but also an acknowledgement of the pressing need to address the burden of pneumonia.

“As we convene here today, it is imperative that we recognize the urgency of our collective mission,- to mitigate the burden of pneumonia and enhance preventive measures.

“It is equally of great importance that we strive to improve access to quality healthcare services for our children”, Okeowo said.

Also in a remark, a representative of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O), Dr. David Kajovo lauded the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in the PAN-UNICEF Pneumonia project in the state.

He disclosed that the W.H.O is working closely with all partners in the project to ensure the attainment of set goals.

“As a major partner, the W.H.O is very much involved in the PAN-UNICEF pneumonia project. We provide technical support to see that the project succeeds”, Kajovo said.

Our correspondent reports that the 2023 World Pneumonia Day celebration has the theme, ” Defeat Pneumonia: Every breath count, Every action matters.”

The event was attended by medical consultants from the FMC, Asaba, officials of the state ministry of health, project partners, civil societies and market women.

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