Five Ways to Prevent Pneumonia in Children Without Vaccination | Health

The latest epidemiological bulletin from the Ministry of Health (Minsa)Confirmed, 19,595 cases of pneumonia were identified in boys and girls under the age of 5 in 2023, with 143 tragic deaths that could have been prevented through vaccination and good nutrition.

“In principle, pneumonia can affect anyone, but there are factors that may put certain children at greater risk of developing pneumonia, for example if they are immunosuppressed, may be in a malnourished or malnourished state. Currently, there are Vaccination for certain types of pneumonia is well established, including in our country, and non-vaccination also becomes a risk factor.”it states Ronald Vargas, medical director of Pfizer.

Furthermore, as can be seen from the report shared by Minsa, the cities most affected by the disease are Arequipa (2,995 cases), Lima (8,266 cases) and Ancash (1,549 cases), with more than 20,000 cases reported in 2022 The number increased by 27.7%.

What are the symptoms in children under 5 years old?

  • Fever can be moderate or high.
  • Chills and sweating.
  • Chest or stabbing pain that worsens when you take deep breaths.
  • Low energy levels and general discomfort.
  • Vomiting and loss of appetite.
  • A bad cough with a stuffy or runny nose.
  • Very severe headache.

These symptoms can be fatal, so preventing this disease is important. Below, we share 5 methods:

Medical prevention:

  • Vaccination: Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent cases of pneumonia, so the Ministry of Health is focusing its efforts on developing immunization programs against pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzae type b, two common causes of pneumonia in children.

Prevention at home:

  • Healthy Nutrition: A diet rich in vitamins A (melon, mango, milk, cheese, and leafy green vegetables) and C (citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruit) is good for your child’s immune system.
  • Hand hygiene: Teach your child to wash their hands regularly and properly, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. This helps prevent the spread of bacteria that can cause respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
  • Avoid smoking: Tobacco smoke is a major health risk factor for children. Avoid smoking in your home and premises. Additionally, encourage other family members to do the same.
  • Promote breastfeeding: Breast milk is an important source of immunity for infants. Breastfeeding your child for the first six months of his or her life and continuing breastfeeding and solid foods until he or she is two years old or older will help strengthen his or her immune system and reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

“The most important thing is to comply with the vaccination program provided by the Ministry of Health, which includes the possibility of vaccination against any cause of pneumonia, including pneumococcal. In addition, if we do not have the opportunity to follow the regular program, we must be aware of free events”” said the expert.

Remember that prevention is essential to keep children healthy, and these measures are particularly effective in Peru, where health conditions can vary by location and individual circumstances, as shown in the Minsa Epidemiological Bulletin.

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