What’s in news?
Pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that, about 1.4 million children under the age of five years were being killed by Pneumonia annually. With this data, it shows that, pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide.
- A recent report from UNICEF shows that, “for every 39 seconds, a child dies of pneumonia”. This results in
- Over 2,200 every day
- 8,00,000 children every year.
- Almost 153,000 within the first month of life.
- Most deaths occurred among children under the age of two
- Children with weaker immune system will be affected by this Pneumonia rather than the healthy children.
- Due to malnutrition, undernourishment or other diseases, the immune system will be weaker which also reduce the ability to recover.
- Major cause: “Indoor air pollution” – The pollution caused inside the household from cooking and heating with biomass fuels.
- Child pneumonia deaths are the highest in countries such as Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia. These are the places where undernutrition and malnutrition also in widespread.
- Pneumonia being preventable and treatable.
- Infectious agents –
- Bacteria – “Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b” is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children.
- Viruses – “Respiratory syncytial virus” is the most common viral cause of pneumonia.
- Fungi – Fungi (Pneumocystis jirovecii, Cryptococcus species, Histoplasmosis species) from soil or bird droppings can cause pneumonia.
- Children and the senior citizens (above 65 years of age) are vulnerable.
- Pneumonia is an infectious disease that causes infection in one or both lungs.
- It can be serious and life-threatening.
What would happen?
- Due to deposits of fluid and pus, the alveoli (Air sacs in the lungs) become inflamed making it painful and difficult for them to breathe.
- Symptoms: High fever and chills, Cough with phlegm, Physical weakness, Shortness of breath and Rapid breathing, Racing pulse, Diarrhoea, Headache, Muscle pain, Nausea or vomiting.
- By maintaining proper hygiene and getting vaccinations.
- It is easily treated with low-cost antibiotics if properly diagnosed.
- The children with severe cases may also require oxygen treatment. The facility is rarely available in the poorest countries to the children who need it.
World Pneumonia Day:
- The day is being celebrated on November 12 annually since 2009.
- Aim: To make people aware of the pneumonia disease, its symptoms, causes, and treatment.
- The day celebrated by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia.
Data to know:
- “Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea” – Released by WHO and UNICEF – sets a target of less than three child pneumonia deaths per 1000 live births in every country by 2025.
- “Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report” – The first of its kind released by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) in 2013.
Links to note: