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Marial Lou records more pneumonia cases among children in cattle camps

Marial Lou records more pneumonia cases among children in cattle camps
FILE IMAGE Credit//Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher

Marial Lou health facility in Tonj North County is registering 15 cases of pneumonia on daily basis among children, a medical doctor has said.

According to the nurse, between August and September this year, the most affected children are between 11 months and 5 years.

The cases are said to be rampant in the cattle camps.

Pneumonia is an infection of the air sacs in one or both lungs characterized by severe cough with mucus, fever, chills, and difficulty in breathing.

Its symptoms include Chest pain when breathing or coughing, shortness of breath, cough, fever, and others.

Philip Malook Gueny,  the Nurse in charge of Marial Lou health facility said the cases are on the increase due to torrential rains and floods that has exposed children to the cold.

“The rainfall has increased pneumonia because many children live in cattle camps. The children sleep outside and when it rains the weather become cold and this increases pneumonia among children,” he stated.

Malook added that: “Those patients who are in oral moderate are sent homes but severe one is admitted in the facility.”

Athieng Majak Kamich,  a mother who resides in a cattle camp said they have no shelter or blankets to protect their children from the rains and the cold.

“We sleep in the open place, we go to cattle camps where there are no tukuls [huts] for the children to sleep. We sleep under trees during the rainy season.”

According to the World Health Organization, pneumonia should be treated with antibiotics. Most cases of pneumonia require oral antibiotics, which are often prescribed at a health centre.

It said preventing pneumonia in children is an essential component of a strategy to reduce child mortality. Immunization against Hib, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) is the most effective way to prevent pneumonia.

WHO adds that adequate nutrition is key to improving children’s natural defences, starting with exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life.