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World Pneumonia Day – November 12 2016

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World Pneumonia Day is celebrated globally every year on November 12 to generate awareness about the killer disease ‘pneumonia’.  The theme of this year is “Keep the Promise, Stop Pneumonia Now”.

  • The World Pneumonia Day was first hosted in the year 2009 and over 100 organizations joined hands to form the Global Coalition against child Pneumonia.
  • The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia provides support for World Pneumonia Day and is comprised of over 140 NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations.
  • The day aims to bring together the people from all over the world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease, and generate action to fight the illness.
  • World Pneumonia Day helps in highlighting the severity of Pneumonia and encourages organizations to sought ways of combating the disease.
  • According to a study conducted by UNICEF, more than 900,000 children died of Pneumonia in 2013 that accounted 15% children under the age of 5 and 2% newborn worldwide.

Pneumonia :

Pneumonia is a preventable and curable disease and yet is a leading cause for a child to die from the infection every 20 seconds. A number of people are unaware of pneumonia’s massive death toll. Thus there is an urgent need to bring this health crisis to public’s attention so that together we can ensure the fight against pneumonia is won.

  • Haemophilus influenzae type B and Streptococcus pneumonia are the two most common causes of deadly pneumonia; however there are effective vaccines that if started early are capable of curing the lives of about 1 million children worldwide.
  • WHO and UNICEF released Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of World Pneumonia DayPneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) on World Pneumonia Day, 2009.

GAPPD aims to

  1. Reduce preventable childhood deaths;
  2. Improve coverage; and
  3. Implement essential policies in 139 countries.

India has highest number of pneumonia & diarrhoea deaths among children: Report

The Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report for 2016 was released by International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) on World Pneumonia Day on November 12. As per the report: India has highest number of pneumonia & diarrhoea deaths among children with about 3 lakh children dying in 2016.

Important Highlights of Report:

The top five countries with highest child pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths are India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

  • The top 15 countries contributing to child pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths were unchanged between 2015 and 2016. These 15 highest burden countries consist of India, Nigeria, Pakistan, DRC, Angola, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Chad, Afghanistan, Niger, China, Sudan, Bangladesh, Somalia, and United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Only six of the highest-burden countries (Angola, Ethiopia, India, Niger, Sudan and Tanzania) have introduced rotavirus vaccines program to help prevent a substantial portion of diarrhea deaths and hospitalization. India introduced rotavirus vaccines in four states in 2015.
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines’ (PCV) was first introduced globally in 2000 (the United States was first to implement the vaccine), yet five of the highest pneumonia burden countries (India, Indonesia, Chad,China and Somalia) are still not using the vaccine in their routine immunisation programs.
  • The report also revealed that India has a pneumonia mortality rate of 7 and diarrhea mortality rate of 5 per 1000 live births; lower than 11 of the top 15 countries.
  • The Health Ministry recently announced that the PCV that can combat pneumonia will be rolled out as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme, in a phased manner in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • Although some progress has been made by the affected nations in combating pneumonia and diarrhoea among young children but still remains responsible for hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths around the world.