MESSAGE FOR WORLD PNEUMONIA DAY
Fight Pneumonia – Save a Child
November 12th 2010 is celebrated as World Pneumonia Day. Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) joins hands with all stake holders in the fight against the major killer of children under the age of five years. International Pediatric Association (IPA) along with UNICEF and GAVI organized workshop in August 2010 at Johannesburg for representatives from those countries which need a push to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4. President, IAP, Dr. Deepak Ugra informed that the workshop was focused on developing skills for immunization advocacy and development of implementable plans in respective countries.
The first World Pneumonia Day in 2009 provided an opportunity for countries most affected by pneumonia to engage in key advocacy efforts with policymakers and the public. Efforts simultaneously sought to increase awareness in donor countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Parliament. Thousands of advocates in 36 countries recognized the day through a variety of outreach activities.
Pneumonia continues to kill over four lacs children in India each year highlighting the need for awareness and education. IAP aims to create awareness amongst parents that Fever, Fast or difficult breathing and cough are important indicators of Pneumonia. “Parents should ensure that their children are at low risk by providing exclusive Breast feeding for six months, timely vaccination and good nutrition”, said Dr. Ugra.
There is a need to strengthen Routine Immunizationamongst children. Immunization against Pertussis, Hib, Measles and Pneumococcus can save many lives. Prevention is always better than cure said Dr. Ugra.
Pneumonia, an infection of the lung can be deadly for children under five. Since pneumonia continue to be the major killer in this age group and kills more children than AIDS, Measles and Malaria combined, our endeavor is to create a campaign that will emphasize the need for immediate action so that effective control on the disease becomes an achievable target said Dr. Deepak Ugra.
The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia is planning to hold events around the world to mark World Pneumonia Day in 2010 too. The Coalition is reaching out to partners in both donor and developing countries to help them engage in activities to highlight pneumonia and the plight of the children and families it affects.
The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia seeks to raise awareness about pneumonia and to help mobilize the resources required to prevent the avoidable suffering and death it causes. The Coalition is grounded in a network of more than 100 international governments, non-governmental and community based organizations, research and academic institutions, foundations, and individuals that have united to highlight the issue of pneumonia among donors, policy makers, health care professionals, and the general public.
IAP has launched a country wide campaign “Blow Away Pneumonia” which is line with “Fight Pneumonia – Save a Child”, under the aegis of IPA to mark the World Pneumonia Day on November 12th. Parent education meetings, seminars for doctors and other out reach activities are being organized across the country to draw public attention to the major killer of children below five years of age. IAP supports campaign across the country, aims to create awareness about pneumonia.
Let us all join hands against Pneumonia – the leading killer of children under five years of age.