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What to do if a child has pneumonia

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Every year, 350,000 children under the age of five die of pneumonia worldwide. The main reason for this is non-availability of medical facilities and non-availability of essential medical supplies like oxygen and antibiotics in time. Pneumonia kills 24,000 children under the age of 5 every year in Bangladesh. At least 13.3 percent of these children die of hypoxemia.

One of the main causes of pneumonia is late hospitalization. Especially in rural areas most of the people take treatment at home. In the last stage of suffering, if the condition of the body worsens, the hospital is resorted to.
Pneumonia is caused by bacterial and viral infections. This infection affects the air sacs of the lungs. As a result, oxygen supply to the body is interrupted.

Risk factors in children
Children in low-income families are at high risk of pneumonia. Children from financially well-off families can build immunity by consuming nutritious food. and can successfully fight infection. But the immunity of children from poor families is weakened due to lack of adequate nutrition. Apart from this, environmental factors such as home air pollution, living in dilapidated houses, second-hand smoke etc. increase the tendency of children to get pneumonia by hundred percent.

What can be done to prevent the risk

1. Consume nutritious food.

2. Mother’s breast feeding.

3. Exclusive breastfeeding until the baby is six months old. All nutrients are present in mother’s breast milk, which ensures good health of the baby.

4. Bring children under immunization program as per national guidelines.

5. Focusing on increasing the awareness of mothers about child immunization.

The prevalence of this disease can be reduced by increasing the quality of primary health care, balanced diet, expansion of immunization programs and awareness.

Author: Lecturer, Anwar Khan Modern Hospital


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