Monday, 11 November 2013

November 12: World Pneumonia Day

Every year on 12 November, World Pneumonia Day is celebrated across the globe to raise awareness about pneumonia; promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia; and generate action to combat pneumonia.  
World Pneumonia Day provides an annual forum for the world to stand together and demand action in the fight against pneumonia. More than 140 NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations representing the interests of children joined forces as the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia to hold the first World Pneumonia Day on November 2, 2009. American India Foundation, Christian Medical College – Vellore, Global Science Academy, Haffkine Institute- Mumbai, Indian Academy of Pediatrics- West Bengal Branch and Institute of Child Health are the members under this global coalition from India.

Pneumonia is a preventable and treatable disease that sickens 155 million children under 5 and kills 1.6 million each year. This makes pneumonia the number 1 killer of children under 5, claiming more young lives than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. The impact of pneumonia is worst among the poorest and most marginalized children. Children living in poor or remote communities are most likely to be affected and the burden pneumonia and diarrhoea places on their families and health systems aggravate existing inequalities. World Pneumonia Day helps to bring this health crisis to the public’s attention and encourages policy makers and grassroots organizers alike to combat the disease.

This year, the theme for World Pneumonia Day will focus on innovation – highlighting innovative solutions to end childhood pneumonia, while at the same time emphasizing that there are existing simple interventions that need to reach the most vulnerable children. This year’s activities will also focus on the clear link between pneumonia and diarrhoea, which was the theme of the recently published Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD).

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