Pneumonia cases on the increase in Gogrial East

Paliet Awan Public Health Care Center has recorded an increase in the number of pneumonia cases among children in Warrap state.

Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs fill with infection and fluid.

Health officials say the surge is among children from zero months to five-year-olds in Gogrial East County.

24 cases have so far been reported this month alone – compare to the 10 cases registered in June.

The clinical officer in charge of Paliet Primary Health Care Center blames the increase on the cold weather due to the rainy season.

Luka Nhomachut Akok urged parents to cover their children with warm clothes.

“Dress your children and keep in warm place inside the room. Go to the bush and collect dry woods and put them in the room to burn them when the weather is cold and cover your child,” he advised.

Doctors say children with immune systems weakened by other infections or by malnutrition, and those living in areas with high levels of air pollution and unsafe water, are at far greater risk.

“I am also urging the breastfeeding mothers to cover her chest when she is outside the house so the cold cannot affect milk,” Nhomachut stated.

He urged the mothers to bathe their children before sunset and stop them from playing in stagnated water.

Pneumonia is one of the leading killers of children in South Sudan, causing 20 per cent of under-five deaths in 2018 due to inequality, poverty and lack of access to health.

Most pneumonia deaths can be prevented with vaccines, nutritional support and preventing spread of disease with clean water and handwashing.