World Pneumonia Day – Halt Pneumonia’s March

Highlights:

  • World Pneumonia
    Day is observed on the 12th November annually across the world
    to raise awareness about this deadly killer infectious disease and prevent
    pneumonia deaths in children
  • Pneumonia is an
    infectious disease that can be prevented and easily treated, but is still the leading cause of death due to infections in
    children less than five years of age

World Pneumonia Day is organized by the
Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia (a group of international, government,
non-governmental and community-based organizations, academic and research
institutions, foundations, and individuals) to raise awareness and educate
about this killer disease.

This year (2018), the 10th anniversary of World Pneumonia
Day
was established in 2009. The “Stop Pneumonia” campaign is
being led by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), at the Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health underscoring the need to mount
increased efforts to fight this deadly disease

‘Pneumonia is a preventable and treatable infection but still remains the leading cause of death due to infectious disease in children under five years.’
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Also, the
WHO has drawn up the Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and
Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea
(GAPPD) recognizing
that prevention and control of two childhood killer diseases, i.e.

pneumonia and diarrhea have to be jointly addressed
with integrated programs.

Mission
of Stop Pneumonia Campaign

  • Raise awareness about pneumonia, the leading killer infectious
    disease in children under five years
  • Promote steps to protect
    against, prevent, and treat the condition
    and fill the gaps in the
    current approaches
  • Generate funds and garner support to fight against pneumonia
    and other common killer diseases of childhood such as diarrheal infections

Call
for Action – Message of Stop Pneumonia Initiative 2018

Each and every
one should take part in the fight against pneumonia

  • Governments and administration must give top priority to the fight against this
    childhood killer disease
  • Government and healthcare system must ensure
    access to health care such as vaccines, antibiotics and treatment to one
    and all irrespective of location and socioeconomic status
  • Citizens should
    hold government and healthcare system accountable and to give priority to
    child health
  • Health care personnel
    should use all available resources and keep themselves abreast of new
    approaches to diagnosis and treatment
  • Research scientists
    should strive and spare no effort in developing newer and more effective
    drugs and vaccines to combat pneumonia

Raising
Awareness about Preventing Pneumonia Deaths in Children

  • Share messages
    about the ‘Stop Pneumonia’ initiative on social media such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Visit outreach
    locations and slums to educate people on the importance of vaccination and
    seeking prompt treatment if their child is ill
  • Donate or raise
    funds for Stop Pneumonia campaign
  • Sell ‘Stop Pneumonia’ merchandise such as shirts, mugs, bracelets and other trivia
    and donate the funds for pneumonia research
  • Hospitals and
    clinics should run awareness clinics for mothers to educate them about
    preventing and treating pneumonia in their children
  • Media should give
    wide coverage to government programs aimed at fighting pneumonia and
    broadcast educational programs using experts to raise awareness among the
    public about this killer disease and its prevention
  • Governments
    should conduct wide-reaching
    and publicized vaccination programs to protect all children against
    pneumonia

Pneumonia
Key Facts

  • Pneumonia kills
    over 16 percent of children under
    five years annually
  • Pneumonia is an infectious disease affecting the lungs
    and can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Pneumonia can be prevented by
    vaccination
    , maintaining proper hygiene and nutrition
  • The condition is
    easily treatable by antibiotics
    and supportive treatment such as intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy
  • Symptoms of
    pneumonia include fever, cough,
    breathing difficulties, wheezing
    and in severe cases dehydration due
    to poor food and water intake, convulsions and coma

Steps
to Prevent Pneumonia – Key to “Stop Pneumonia” Initiative

  • Immunization
    against Hib pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough
    (pertussis)
  • Educating women
    on the importance of breastfeeding
    to enhance child’s immunity
  • Ensure every child gets proper nutrition
  • Avoid indoor pollution due
    to cooking with firewood or kerosene and providing affordable gas stoves
  • Educating
    families about the importance of maintaining
    proper hygiene
  • Ensure health worker visits to families with
    young children
    to monitor the health of the child and reinforce health
    education of the mother and other family members
  • Implementation of the integrated Global action plan for
    pneumonia and diarrhea
    (GAPPD) drawn up
    by the WHO and UNICEF to reduce/prevent pneumonia-related deaths in young children as a top priority
  • Take measures to curb outdoor pollution

References :

  1. IVAC 2018 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report – (https://stoppneumonia.org/)

  2. World Pneumonia Day – (http://www.who.int/life-course/news/events/world-pneumonia-day-2018/en/)