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Maternity and Pneumonia: the Challenges and Opportunities

The #MaternalMonday Campaign of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has canvassed the need to address pneumonia - an acute respiratory infection which affects the lungs and is the leading cause of death by infectious disease in children under the age of five years. Pneumonia also affects women of child-bearing age, including pregnant women and recent mothers. About 900,000 children die yearly from pneumonia, with the majority of these deaths occurring in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Nonetheless, many of these deaths would be prevented if mothers were empowered with adequate life-saving information.

Mothers and pregnant women who have underlying conditions like HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, cardiac disease (including heart failure), and those in immuno-compromised states are all at risk of developing pneumonia during the maternity period. Participants who proffered best-practice solutions noted that poor cooking habits, with fossil fuels, complicated with poor ventilation systems, are a strong predisposing factor for pneumonia. However, it is important to note that pneumonia, if not well treated in mothers and pregnant women, can lead to complications such as heart failure, lung collapse, septicaemia and preterm births.

#MaternalMonday, the popular weekly information campaign established by Her Excellency Toyin Saraki's Wellbeing Foundation Africa seeks to empower midwives, mothers and their newborns through demand creation for birth-preparedness, reducing the scourge of preventable maternal newborn and child mortality. Mrs Saraki, the Newborn Champion for Save The Children Nigeria, also serves as Global Goodwill Ambassador to the International Confederation of Midwives.

Signed: Communications The Wellbeing Foundation Africa Email: Web:

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