Lahore : The World Pneumonia Day is being commemorated around the world today. The World Pneumonia Day is celebrated on November 12 to raise awareness about the toll of pneumonia.Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs and remains the leading killer of children around the world.
In this connection, a walk was organized in the Directorate General Health Services here on Friday led by DG Health Punjab Dr. Mukhtar Hussain Syed. Program managers and staff of the provincial Directorate participated in the walk. In his message Advisor to Chief Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique said that Punjab is making all out efforts to reduce mortality related to pneumonia.
In Pakistan, the diseases one of major killers. Whereas globally Pneumonia accounts for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old, in Pakistan it is estimated that 29% of children deaths due to this disease.
Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition, and by addressing environmental factors. The mortality figures are not helped not by delays at three levels: by parents in taking the children to medics, delay in diagnosis and delay in provision of adequate treatment and emergency facilities. He said a child survival group of technical experts under the supervision of the Director General Health Services was formed to chalk out workable strategy. “
In Punjab a new initiative to provide medical commodities for children suffering with Pneumonia and Diarrhoea has been initiated in the year 2016. The plan is being pilot tested in 5 districts with support from UNICEF- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” he added.
It is estimated that annually more than 5 million cases of pneumonia are reported in children. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere, but is most prevalent in marginalized population characterized by illiteracy, low economic status and geographically isolated inhabitations.
The Punjab Expanded Program on Immunization has introduced pneumonia vaccine as part of routine immunization in 2012.
The latest coverage survey reports suggest immunization coverage above 86%. Also, the WHO and UNICEF have developed an integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) that aims to accelerate pneumonia control with a combination of interventions to protect, prevent, and treat pneumonia in children.
The GAPPD was signed by Pakistan in 2013.Khawaja Salman Rafique further said, “The disease importance had been realized and our focus is on protection, prevention and treatment sides.”