Each year around 800,000 children die from Pneumonia despite the fact that it is a preventable and curable disease. This is alarming because proper vaccination, early diagnosis and treatment through cost effective and easily available anti-biotic can save millions of children around the world.
Executive director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, highlighted this serious issue emphasizing on global commitment to fight against pneumonia. She said:
“Every day, nearly 2,200 children under the age of five die from pneumonia, a curable and mostly preventable disease. Strong global commitment and increased investments are critical to the fight against this disease. Only through cost-effective protective, preventative and treatment interventions delivered to where children are will we be able to truly save millions of lives.”
Even in Pakistan the biggest cause of death among children under 5 years is Pneumonia, it kills more children than diarrhea, malaria or any other disease.
Pneumonia is an infection which can be cause by bacteria, viruses and fungi which inflames the air sacs in lungs. It can cause the air sacs to be fill with fluid or pus, causing cough, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.
It can be prevented easily by vaccinating infants and toddlers, which not only protect the child from getting infected but also helps to prevent the spread of the disease. The vaccines consists of four doses out of which three are given in the first year, preferably at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age, and the fourth dose is given at 15 months of age.
Children with strong immune system have greater chances to fight Pneumonia, this is why breastfeeding and proper nutrition should also be promoted.