[ePrayer – Pray for children vulnerable to pneumonia]
Nowadays, every 30 seconds, a child younger than five dies of pneumonia. UN and its partners are marking World Pneumonia Day on 12 Nov by highlighting essential actions that can help end child deaths from the single biggest killer of children under the age of five around the world. They are:
exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding complemented by nutritious solid foods up to age two;
vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis), measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcus;
safe drinking water, sanitation and hand washing facilities;
improved cooking stoves to reduce indoor air pollution;
treatment, including amoxicillin dispersible tablets and oxygen.
According to a World Bank report, urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa accelerates rise in health problems, while more cars on the road are pushing up accident rates. The region has the highest number of accidents, but the fewest vehicles on the road. Younger and poorer people are disproportionately vulnerable: accidents on the road are expected to become the biggest killer of children aged between five and fifteen by 2015, outstripping malaria and IDS. ‘The poorest communities often live alongside the fastest roads, their children may need to negotiate the most dangerous routes to school and they may have poorer outcomes from injuries, due to limited access to post-crash emergency healthcare,’ the report says. The report concerns road safety alongside rising rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and cancer. The shift towards urbanisation is a case in point. City residents typically take less exercise, and thus are prone to diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Rising incomes are driving demand for processed foods that are higher in sugar, fat and salt, as well as alcohol. [Guardian]
Pray for Africa:
Remember the plight of the disadvantaged communities under urbanisation;
Pray that the government and the NGOs can foresee the new challenges of urbanisation, take the preventive measures and provide appropriate assistance to those in need.