HIGH BURDEN OF PNEUMONIA IN YOUNG CHILDREN PRESENTING TO A TERTIARY HOSPITAL AFTER INTRODUCTION OF THE PNEUMOCOCCAL CONJUGATE VACCINE
Pneumonia in children remains a public health problem and a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in young children worldwide especially in low resource countries. In Ghana, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was added to the expanded program on immunisation in May 2012. Despite this, pneumonia remains a leading cause of hospital admissions in young children.
We prospectively recorded cases of pneumonia in an electronic database of children admitted to the Paediatric Emergency Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital from September 2018 to April 2019. Data was then analysed with STATA version 16.
During the 8-month period, 174 children were admitted with pneumonia to the unit, 96% (n=166) were younger than 5years of age and 48% (n=84) were below age 12 months. In all 93.6% (n=163) of cases had received at least two doses of PCV. However, ninety four percent of cases (n=164) presented with severe pneumonia,19% (n=33) were hypoxic at presentation, and 16% (n=29) died from complications of pneumonia
Despite high PCV coverage, pneumonia remains an important cause of admission with a significant number presenting with severe pneumonia and death.