Pneumonia kills more than 4 million people each year including over 2 million children younger than five years old. Pneumonia kills more children than AIDS, measles, and malaria combined, and yet many children do not receive affordable solutions proven to prevent and control pneumonia.
A simple three-pronged solution has the potential to save more than a million children every year: Protect, prevent and treat. Programs should protect children by promoting exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of life. Vaccination programs in countries where children die of pneumonia should include immunizations that prevent the major causes of pneumonia deaths. Pertussis and measles are already in most national programs. Vaccines against pneumococcus and Hib, estimated to cause more than 50% of deadly pneumonia, should be added as soon as possible. Health providers must also quickly diagnose and treat children who do become ill with appropriate antibiotics.
Efforts to significantly reduce this syndrome require a multi-faceted effort and coordinated approach from various parts of government and a variety of global, regional, and local stakeholders. Working together, these groups need to implement and/or strengthen policies addressing pneumonia, monitor progress, and provide the resources needed to ensure programs reach the children in need. An important first step is to focus the world's attention on pneumonia and to make policy makers aware of the burden of pneumonia and its solutions. This effort requires a broad commitment from many.
If we work together, we can make sure that the world recognizes that we have the tools today and that now is the time to take on pneumonia.
More information http://worldpneumoniaday.org/