World Pneumonia Day was established in 2009 by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia.
Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia is a network of international, government, non-government and communi-ty-based organisations, research and academic institutions, foundations and individuals. When the ?rst World Pneumonia Day was launched, pneumonia was killing approx 1.2 million children each year. WHO and UNICEF in 2013 released the Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea. It sets a target of less than three child pneumonia deaths per 1000 live births in every country by 2025.
The International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) released ?rst pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report in 2013 and the rapidly growing Pneumonia Innovations Network hosted the Pneumonia Innovations Summit in 2015. The Every Breath Counts Coalition was also launched in 2017which was the ?rst public-private partnership to support governments to achieve the GAPPD (Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea) target to reduce child pneumonia deaths in nine “beacon” countries.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infectious disease that causes infection in one or both lungs. It can be serious and life-threatening. Due to an infection, in?ammation is caused in the air sacs of lungs known as alveoli. The air sacs may ?ll with ?uid or puss causes cough, fever, chills, and dif?culty in breathing. Various organisms are responsible for causing pneumonia including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Let us tell you that it can be serious for infants below the age of 5 and for older people more than 65 age and those who have health-related issues and a weak immune system.
Pneumonia is the world’s leading infectious killer of children, claiming one child every 39 seconds. Yet pneumonia remains a neglected disease. It has been called a “global cause without champions”.
The good news is that new champions – including the Stop Pneumonia Initiative and the Every Breath Counts Coalition – have joined forces to galvanise urgently needed action about this forgotten epidemic. What are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?
- Pain in chest during breathing or coughing.
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Fast breathing and shortness of breath
- Due to cough in lungs, green phelgm or sputum.
- Muscle pain
- Cases of some kind of confusion have also seen in older adults.
- Nausea or vomiting
How is pneumonia caused?
The common cause of pneumonia is bacteria known as Streptococcus pneumoniae. Oth-er bacterial causal organisms are Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Hae-mophilus in?uenzae etc.
- Virus also causes pneumonia like in?uenza (?u), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhi-noviruses (common cold).
Note: Pneumonia caused due to virus is usually milder and without treatment also it can be cured in one or three weeks.
- Pneumonia can also be caused due to fungus. People those who have weak immune system affect most. Fungi from soil or bird droppings can cause pneumonia. Fungi like Pneumo-cystis jirovecii, Cryptococcus species, Histoplasmosis species, etc.
Pneumonia: Treatment and Vaccination
No doubt pneumonia is preventable and timely vaccination also reduces the possibility of causing disease. Vaccines that provide immunisation against pneumonia in India are:
- PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
- Measles vaccines
- Hib vaccine
The infection caused due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus can be cured by giving vaccines Hib and PCV. The systematic infection caused by measles can be cured by mea-sles vaccine.
How pneumonia can be prevented?
The three-fold strategies to ?ght against pneumonia apart from immunisation are:
- In kids, six months of exclusive breastfeeding.
- A healthy diet including zinc and vitamin A supplements.
- Ensuring cleanliness and hygiene.
If there is a healthy lifestyle not only pneumonia but also you can prevent yourself from other diseases as well.
Stop Pneumonia is an initiative that provides a voice for communities who suffer from the devastating consequences of the disease and who lack access to lifesaving interventions.
Stop Pneumonia was spearheaded by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. On World Pneumonia Day – 12 November – the global health community comes together to recognize the importance of ?ghting pneumonia.
The Every Breath Counts Coalition
The Every Breath Counts Coalition is a public-private partnership to support national governments to end prevent-able child pneumonia deaths by 2030.
This global coalition of UN agencies, businesses, donors and NGOs have committed to supporting governments in 10 countries with some of the highest burdens of pneumonia. The 40 members provide support to close the critical gaps in pneumonia prevention, diagnosis and treatment, which could save hundreds of thousands of child pneumonia deaths each year.
Championing the fight against pneumonia
Pneumonia is the single biggest infectious killer of children, claiming over 800,000 lives annually. Yet pneumonia remains a neglected disease. And the numbers are coming down far too slowly to achieve the 2030 ambition of ending preventable child deaths.
This year on the 10th anniversary of World Pneumonia Day – 12 November 2019 – we are championing the ?ght against pneumonia.
We know that urgent and decisive action could save many lives through immunisation, or early and accurate diagnosis followed by treatment with antibiotics, or referral for oxygen treatment. We need to extend the reach, quality and equity of health systems so that the children facing the greatest risks receive the care they need.
This World Pneumonia Day, we are calling for concrete action from governments and other stakeholders in the lead-up to the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in January 2020.