Every year on November 12th, there is an event called World Pneumonia Day that aims to increase awareness and encourage action against pneumonia. It is a day set aside to draw attention to and resources toward this fatal condition, which claims the lives of nearly 2 million children annually throughout the world. Pneumonia is an infectious disease that is more than just a respiratory infection. In low- and middle-income countries, it is one of the main causes of death for children under five. It has been estimated that pneumonia kills more kids globally each year than AIDS, measles combined, and malaria. 

Pneumonia in children is possibly the most neglected illness worldwide. More than 800,000 children under the age of five die from the sickness each year, making it the leading cause of death for kids. (This includes around 3% of the world’s under-5 child mortality, or over 153,000 infants, who are especially susceptible to infection). A life is lost every 39 seconds, a startling statistic that is declining more slowly than other main killers and too slowly for the global community to reach the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending preventable child deaths. Pneumonia hasn’t gotten enough attention from the international community, or regrettably from the governments of countries where it’s a major cause of child mortality, despite the terrible toll and the slow rate of progress. 

A Pneumonia Crisis Across the Life Course

It is more important than ever to combat the number one infectious killer of adults and children. In 2019 alone, pneumonia killed 2.5 million people, including 672,000 children. The confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflict is exacerbating the pneumonia epidemic throughout the life course, hence increasing the number of individuals susceptible to infection and mortality. A staggering 6 million people were predicted to die in 2021 from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. 

Children who reside in households that use polluting fuels for cooking and heating, in places where vaccination rates are dropping, and in areas where hunger is on the rise as a result of food shortages are especially vulnerable. If quick steps are not taken to reach these kids, like giving them oxygen and antibiotics, UNICEF has warned that child mortality will increase. 

Older adults are exposed to air pollution- smoking is also dangerous, primarily from burning fossil fuels. Air pollution and smoking are linked to nearly half of the 1.6 million predicted deaths from pneumonia among those over 50. Most of the populations are dangerously exposed to pneumonia and live in a group of low-middle-income countries like Asia, Africa, and Latin America- including the 11 countries that are home to the winning entries. 

World Pneumonia Day 2023 Theme

Championing the fight to stop pneumonia will be the subject of World Pneumonia Day 2023

Global Efforts to Combat Pneumonia 

Vaccines that can save lives have been made available to children in low-income countries who are at risk of pneumonia due to pneumococcal illnesses thanks to the efforts of global organizations like GAVI, or The Vaccine Alliance. Furthermore, initiatives like The Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia (GCACP) link governments from all around the world with associates from the charitable and civil society sectors in pursuit of a single objective: lowering the number of pediatric pneumonia fatalities globally by 2030. 

The Role of Healthcare Providers in the Treatment of Pneumonia

Dr. Sheetu Singh plays an important role in preventing and treating pneumonia-related illnesses. When choosing the appropriate course of therapy, it is essential to correctly identify if the pneumonia is bacterial or viral. For bacterial infections, antibiotics may be required, while antivirals may be recommended for viral infections. Additionally, healthcare workers must follow WHO guidelines and national health authorities’ recommendations to guarantee that their patients receive vaccinations against pneumococcal infections. 

Symptoms of Pneumonia 

When it comes to the symptoms of pneumonia, common signs include chills, fever, coughing up greenish-yellow mucus (known as sputum), difficulty breathing, and chest pain. Other symptoms can include sweating, headaches, loss of appetite, fatigue, and shortness of breath. In more extreme situations, brain oxygen deprivation may result in delirium or confusion. 

  • Fever
  • Shivering
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Chest ache
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite
  • A cough that may be dry or produce thick mucus that is green, yellow, brown, or strained with blood
  • Sputum with blood in it 

Diagnosing Pneumonia

Medical personnel need to be able to distinguish between pneumonia and other lung infections like bronchitis or asthma to swiftly and accurately diagnose pneumonia. In order to achieve this, Dr. Sheetu Singh usually performs a physical examination in addition to chest X-rays or CT scans to search for any indications of inflammation or fluid accumulation in the lungs that could indicate pneumonia. Furthermore, blood tests could be performed to rule out any underlying causes of the illness, such as a viral or bacterial infection. 

Treatment Options

Depending on how severe the infection is, several treatment options are available. More serious instances may need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous antibiotics that are injected directly into the bloodstream. Milder infections may be treated with oral antibiotics taken at home. In addition to antibiotics, other treatments such as respiratory therapies and supplemental oxygen therapy may also be used to help improve breathing function and reduce discomfort associated with the condition. 

Most of the time, mild pneumonia can typically be treated at home by:

  • The use of antibiotics.
  • Getting lots of sleep.
  • Hospital care may be necessary for severe pneumonia in at-risk populations.
  • Consuming a lot of liquids. 

Prevention Tips 

There are some crucial preventive steps you may take to lower your chance of contracting pneumonia, in addition to getting appropriate medical attention when necessary. These preventive measures include receiving an annual flu vaccination, which helps shield your lungs from seasonal flu viruses; avoiding cold-contact situations; frequently washing your hands; getting enough sleep; abstaining from smoking; maintaining a healthy, balanced diet; and engaging in regular exercise to enhance immunity against pneumonia and other illnesses. 

  • Ensures good hygiene standards.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose.
  • Cleaning your hands frequently will assist you in stopping the spread of germs to other persons or surfaces.
  • Furthermore, pneumonia can be avoided by leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine and flu vaccination.

Is World Pneumonia Day celebrated as a holiday?

World Pneumonia Day is not observed as a public holiday.

When do we celebrate World Pneumonia Day?

November 12th.

Why do we celebrate World Pneumonia Day?

The purpose of World Pneumonia Day is to increase public awareness of pneumonia and to encourage actions aimed at preventing, treating, and preventing the illness.

What is the theme of Pneumonia Day 2023?

World Pneumonia Day (2023) will focus on advocating for the prevention of pneumonia.

Who established World Pneumonia Day?

On November 12, 2009, the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia, which consists of over 100 child-interest organizations, organized the first-ever World Pneumonia Day.

What is pneumonia in India?

Infection of one or both lungs air sacs is known as pneumonia. Pneumonia can be caused by a wide range of organisms, such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

Dr. Sheetu Singh, a nationally renowned pulmonologist, Director ILD & Pulmonary Rehab Clinic, is an expert in chest-related conditions. She got her training from SMS Medical College, Jaipur followed by a visit to Cleveland Clinic, USA.

Contact Info

Address: Mahavir Jaipuriya Rajasthan Hospital Milap Nagar, JLN Marg, Jaipur

Mobile: (+91)-8696666380


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