- World Pneumonia
Day is observed every year on November 12.
- The theme for
2017 World Pneumonia Day is "Stop Pneumonia Invest in Child Health."
- This day is
observed to stand together in the fight against pneumonia.
World Pneumonia Day is
observed to bring the global health problem of pneumonia to the attention of
the people and to encourage organizations and nations to move in a united fight
against this disease.
The three main
objectives of World Pneumonia Day are:
- To raise
awareness about pneumonia, the world's leading killer of children under
the age of five.
- To promote
interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia
- To generate
action to fight pneumonia.
an acute respiratory infection that infects the lungs. In a normal condition,
the small sacs in the lungs known as the alveoli are filled with air during breathing.
However, in pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid. This results
in difficulty in breathing and reduces oxygen intake.
Types of Pneumonia
The most common type of
Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumococcus)
The most common type of
pneumonia, streptococcus pneumonia accounts for about 40 percent of all
It is commonly referred
to as Hib and it is the second most common cause of pneumonia deaths.
This is the most common
cause of childhood lung infection in the first six months of life and the most
common cause of hospitalization from pneumonia.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
The symptoms of
pneumonia in children under the age of five are:
- Coughing and
difficulty in breathing, with or without fever.
- Fast breathing or
lower chest wall indrawing.
severe cases, some children may not be able to ear or drink and may be
accompanied by unconsciousness, hypothermia, and convulsion.
Risk Factors for
- Weak immune
system due to malnutrition or pre-existing illness such as HIV or measles.
factors such as indoor air pollution, living
in a crowded home, and second-hand smoking.
How is Pneumonia
- Viruses and
bacteria in children's nose or throat can be inhaled while breathing; this
leads to infection of the lungs.
- Through a cough
or sneeze, pneumonia may be spread via airborne droplets.
- And through
blood, especially during and shortly after birth.
Global Burden of
- Pneumonia claimed
the lives of 920,000 children in 2015.
- Children under
five die of pneumonia every minute.
- Four in every
five children under the age of two die of pneumonia.
- About 170 million
children have not received vaccination against pneumonia.
- It is estimated
that by 2030, about 735,000 children will die of pneumonia.
- South Asian girls
have 43 percent increased risk than their male counterparts.
Protecting Children from
from pneumonia by promoting good health practices from birth by:
breastfeeding for six months.
- Vitamin A
from pneumonia and diarrhea by:
Children can be
prevented from developing pneumonia with vaccines against:
- Hemophilus influenza
type b (Hib)
- Pertussis; (whooping
Water, sanitation, and
hygiene (WASH) are keys to preventing pneumonia, diarrhea, and other illnesses.
Reducing household air pollution is another important step toward the
prevention of pneumonia infection.
‘Pneumonia cannot be treated in isolation. Tackling pneumonia requires a strong and accessible health system that reaches the most disadvantaged children.’
appropriate and timely treatment.
Three important steps
must be highlighted to reduce pneumonia deaths:
- Recognize when a
child is sick. Caregivers need to
know the symptoms of pneumonia; this
will help in early detection and timely treatment.
- Seek appropriate
care. When a child is suspected of being infected, the second step is to
seek appropriate care.
appropriately with antibiotics.
Stopping pneumonia isn't
about luck. It's about action. References :
- Pneumonia - The Forgotten Killer of Children - (http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/43640/1/9280640489_eng.pdf)
- World Pneumonia Day 2017, National Health Portal - (https://stoppneumonia.org/)