World Pneumonia Day is on November 12 and, like every year, it is dedicated to spread awareness among people to understand the need to stand together and demand action in the fight against this disease. Pneumonia is the world’s biggest infectious killer of children and adults. On average, it alone kills more children than the combined mortality rate caused by AIDS, measles, and malaria. It is the lack of oxygen in the lungs that makes us realize how important oxygen is to our bodies — and makes lung health a priority world-wide. This World Pneumonia Day, we look forward to coming together to understand how crucial oxygen is for us and what can be done in our fight against pneumonia. Since respiratory ailments are quite prominent right now, this makes World Pneumonia Day even more relevant.
The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia observed the first World Pneumonia Day in 2009. Their aim was to bring the facts of the severity of pneumonia to public knowledge and to join hands to bring global attention to the neglected condition of pneumonia. The Day was observed with the general motto “Healthy Lungs for All”, and this has been maintained since the first World Pneumonia Day in 2009. Additions to the motto themed around running campaigns included to provide enough protection against the disease and to make treatment centres accessible to the people suffering from the disease.
The year in which the first World Pneumonia Day was observed, it was killing approximately 1.2 million children each year. Within four years of observing this day at an international and global scale, in 2013, WHO and UNICEF launched an Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea. In the next four years in efforts to establish as much control over Pneumonia and Diarrhoea, the first public-private partnership to support governments achieve the Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (G.A.P.P.D.) was made under the name “Every Breath Counts”.
Other than this, several other initiatives have also been taken at various levels to counter the attacks made by pneumonia, which still acts as the major infectious killer of children and adults.
- Scientists and doctors have said that pneumonia can be caused by bacteria or fungi, or both simultaneously — it can be caused by simply breathing in the food we eat, or inhaling dust, or any smallest toxin in the air, which can cause disease in the human body.
- Doctors have said that children who regularly fed on mother’s milk had greater immunity, and so even if they contracted Pneumonia had a greater chance of fighting the disease and recovering from it.
- Pneumonia can be caused by fungi or bacteria, or possibly both but, for the treatment to be effective, diagnosing the cause is critical.
- Recently there has been a 75% rise in the overall number of pneumonia cases globally.
- Pneumonia starts off as a mild flu, but it can quickly develop itself into a life-threatening disease, and still, there are only a few genuine treatment options that are available for pneumonia. It will only be through our combined efforts that international health bodies will take this matter seriously and stop neglecting this disease.
- Many people are ignorant about the seriousness of treating Pneumonia in the early stages of the disease. As mentioned above, knowing what caused the disease in the first place is as crucial as the treatment itself. There are different combinations of antibiotics available for the treatment, and different vaccinations too for prevention, but they need to be made accessible to the average man.
- Our future exists in our upcoming generations. We need to make the effort, if not for us, then for our children, so that they grow up healthy and free from this disease. Our efforts today will pave the way for advancements in the treatment options for this disease in the future.
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