Pneumonia kills more children under the age of five than any other disease, claiming a young life every 20 seconds. That’s 4,300 young lives lost every day! For every child that dies from pneumonia in the industrialized world, 2,000 more die in developing countries. In these countries, children under 5 and under 2 years of age are at risk, especially in the poorest communities. In fact, an estimated 98 percent of children who die of pneumonia live in developing countries. Each year, there are more than 150 million episodes of pneumonia in young children in developing countries, and more than 11 million children need hospitalization for pneumonia.
The financial costs of pneumonia include hospital stays and medications, transportation to health centers, and the caretakers’ inability to work or take care of other family members while they are caring for a sick child. Families often must take out large loans to pay for care of their seriously ill child, which may further drag them into deep poverty.
World Pneumonia Day is annually held on November 12 to raise awareness of pneumonia, promote prevention and treatment, and generate action to fight the illness. Established in 2009, World Pneumonia Day supports all efforts made to protect and treat people against pneumonia, the single largest cause of child deaths worldwide.
The aims of the Day are:
to raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under the age of five;
to promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia; and
to generate action to combat pneumonia.
The Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia provides leadership for World Pneumonia Day and is comprised of over 140 NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations.
Pneumonia is one of the most solvable problems in global health.
Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life is an important and easy way to help protect children from pneumonia and many other diseases.
The treatment for most types of serious pneumonia is usually antibiotics, which typically cost less than $1 per dose.
Tragically, only an estimated 1 of every 5 children with pneumonia receives antibiotics.
Together we can ensure the fight against pneumonia is won.
Source: one.org | worldpneumoniaday.org | who.int