World Pneumonia Day is an annual event that is globally observed on November 12. It was first celebrated in the year 2009 by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia. The main aim behind its observance is to spread awareness about pneumonia worldwide to reduce its prevalence. The campaign also tries to provide enough protection against the disease and available treatment options for those already affected. This year the theme of World Pneumonia Day is ‘Healthy lungs for all’. This clearly states that the main motto is to promote lung health.
Significance of World Pneumonia Day
According to WHO, pneumonia is responsible for 15 per cent of all deaths of children under 5 globally in the year 2017. It is considered to be the biggest killer of children around the world.
Yet it remains a neglected condition. This acute respiratory infection affects a child’s lungs severely. It inflames the air sacs, fill it with fluid and causes a problem in breathing. It is characterized by symptoms including chest pain, confusion, fever, nausea, shortness of breath, etc. If not treated on time, pneumonia can lead to the spread of bacteria in other organs through blood, further leading to organ failure. It can also cause the death of the affected baby.
Pneumonia affects a child at the age when his immunity is in the developing phase. And one of the leading causes of the increasing mortality rate due to pneumonia is due to malnutrition among children which occurs due to a large number of people being under the poverty line. Also, a significant number of the population globally, do not have access to clean water, air, and sanitation. Also, they do not get proper healthcare facilities. Notably, indoor air pollution is a leading cause of death due to pneumonia. And, the increasing level of pollution in the metro cities these days is something that can potentially lead to an increase in pneumonia cases. In this case, World Pneumonia Day plays a significant role.