PROMOTING INFANT CARE THROUGH BETTER SANITATION AND HYGIENE
With the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population Development, aptly called the "Nairobi Summit" fully underway, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa team on this WASH Wednesday will be sharing informative content on Pneumonia - a bane to childhood across the world. Yesterday, the 12th of November, was World Pneumonia Day which was commemorated by local and international stakeholders to create awareness on the challenges posed by this diseases, especially with it being the single largest infectious cause of death for children under the age of 5 years.
Pneumonia, which is caused by a number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi, can be easily spread through air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze. In 2017, Pneumonia accounted for the death of over 800,000 children globally, about 15 per cent of all death of children under 5 years. Before now, the prevailing belief was that this infectious disease was caused by common cold, but prevailing scientific research has discredited conception as a myth. It is therefore a keen health development strategy to understand the mode of transmission of this disease and proffer innovative and effective means to curtail the spread of this disease.
Hand washing remains the most effective method of infection prevention and control, ensuring children maintain a hygienic habit while at home and in school. With a largely developing immune system, promoting proper sanitation and hygiene prevents chldren from being susceptible to diseases such as pneumonia. Infants and children should also be protected from other environmental risk factors such as indoor air poluution, especially from cooking or heating with wood or dung; living in crowded homes; and parental smoking.
Proper nutrition is important in enabling infants and children create natural defenses to diseases such as pneumonia. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and proper complimentary feeding thereafter makes a child strengthens a child's natural immunity, and ensures quick recovery when they do fall ill to pneumonia. Immunization is all an essential component in the strategy to reduce child mortality from pneumonia. Children who have been immunized against Hib, pneumococcus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis) are better protected from pneumonia.
Thanks for joining us on #WASHWednesday today.