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The Time is Now: Urgent Need to Tackle Childhood Pneumonia Deaths in Nigeria

Lookup NU author(s): Cyril Onwuelazu UtehORCiD



This is the final published version of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by Kenes Group, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Background: Pneumonia is the major cause of death among children under the age of 5 years, with pneumonia-associated deaths accounting for 15% of all deaths among under-five children globally. Sadly, Nigeria is the country with the highest cases of pneumonia-related deaths among children under five years globally according to a 2019 UNICEF report. Although pneumonia is a preventable and treatable disease, its burden remains relatively high in low- and middle-income countries. Methods: The Immunisation coverage of pneumonia-preventable vaccines like the Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV) and Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (Hib) in Nigeria, were examined and compared against the immunisation coverage for selected high- and low-income countries not included in the list of top 15 countries with the highest estimate of pneumonia deaths among children under five years. The 2019 UNICEF Immunisation dataset on "Immunisation coverage by antigen (country, regional and global trends)", was used for this comparison. Results: Immunisation coverage (%) of PCV and Hib antigens has been all-time low in Nigeria. In 2015, PCV3 vaccine coverage in Nigeria was 36%, while the Hib vaccine was 42%. From 2016 to 2018, the coverage level (%) for PCV and Hib vaccines both stood at 57% each. When compared to countries like Zambia, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and others, Nigeria is lagging in the optimal use of pneumonia-preventable vaccines. Conclusions: There is an urgent need to improve the coverage of pneumonia-preventable vaccines in Nigeria, by ensuring that underserved communities access and utilise these available vaccines to help tackle pneumonia-associated deaths among under-five children in the country.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Uteh CO

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: The 12th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-12)

Year of Conference: 2022

Pages: 129 -133

Online publication date: 19/09/2023

Acceptance date: 17/03/2022

Date deposited: 13/03/2023

Publisher: Kenes Group


ePrints DOI: 10.57711/gfhm-6t52

Sponsor(s): ISPPD-12 Travel and Participation Grants