A recent spell of rainfall has helped improve the quality of air through cleansing that may have a beneficial effect on public health particularly on the subject of controlling the incidences of respiratory tract infections and asthmatic complications but for children and infants, the case may be different because the fall in temperature below 10 degree centigrade may cause severe problems including pneumonia among them if proper preventive measures are not taken.
Health experts say that an extreme cold wave has hit the country and it is time for parents to opt for measures needed to safeguard their children from upper and lower respiratory infections including pneumonia that has killed hundreds of children particularly below five years of age in the northern part of the country this winter.
Studies reveal that every 30 seconds, a child somewhere in the world, dies of pneumonia while in Pakistan, an estimated seven million cases of pneumonia occur every year and out of these, over 100,000 children die before their fifth birthday due to the infection.
Children whose immune systems are compromised are at higher risk of developing pneumonia while infants and children below two years of age are at the greatest risk as their immune systems are still developing. Experts say that parents must take extraordinary measures for the children below five years of age to safeguard them from the infection.
Pneumonia is preventable and treatable with a host of proven interventions, including exclusive breastfeeding infants in their first six months of life and ensuring an environment free of indoor air pollution. Frequent hand washing and immunizing against leading causes can help reduce the cases of pneumonia.
A child’s immune system may be weakened by malnutrition or undernourishment, especially in infants who are not exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their life.
Acknowledgement: Published by The News on 06-02-2024