File picture: Pixabay

Johannesburg – A new report by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) shows Nigeria recorded the highest global deaths from pneumonia at 162 000 last year.

"In Nigeria, 19 percent of child deaths were due to pneumonia in 2018, and it was the biggest killer of children under-five in 2017," acting UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Pernille Ironside said.

More than 800 000 children under the age of five died from pneumonia around the world in 2018, or one child every 39 seconds, with Nigeria recording 443 deaths per day or 18 every hour.

The biggest risk factors for child deaths from the ailment in Nigeria are malnutrition, indoor air pollution from the use of solid fuels, and outdoor air pollution, UNICEF said.

In January, the group will host world leaders at the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in Spain.

African News Agency (ANA)