In the News: World Pneumonia Day


Pneumonia X-Ray by Encephalon at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Pneumonia X-Ray by Encephalon at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

World Pneumonia Day is held on November 12 every year to bring attention to the world’s leading killer of children under age 5, and to encourage governmental action to prevent and treat the disease around the globe. Key messages of World Pneumonia Day 2013 include: Pneumonia takes an immense human toll; the Developing World is the worst affected; Proven interventions exist and must be made available to the vulnerable; and Innovation is crucial. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and chemical and physical irritants. Pneumonia is most common in Winter months and anyone can get it, although it most often attacks young children, people over the age of 65, and those with compromised respiratory or immune systems. Preventative strategies and treatments are available and several organizations are involved in implementing and tracking those interventions all over the world.

Pneumonia Fast Facts

Virtual Medical Centre: Pneumonia NEW!

The Virtual Medical Centre provides a Pneumonia Fact Sheet with definitions, statistics, risk factors, treatments, research resources and more.

Pneumonia & Children

World Pneumonia Day NEW!

The United Nations has recognized November 12th as World Pneumonia Day since 2009.  This year the theme for Pneumonia Day commemorations is “Innovation”. On November 12th, medical professionals and advocates call upon the governments of the world to invest in innovation for the prevention and treatment of the world’s number one killer of young children.

World Pneumonia Day Places Emphasis on the Biggest Killer of Children (find on ipl2)

“We can’t have the reductions in child mortality that we envisage without a concentrated, direct attack on the biggest enemy that children face,” said Mickey Chopra, Chief of Health of United Nations Children’s Fund in November, 2012.

Pneumonia & the Elderly

Pneumonia – University of Maryland NEW!

For the elderly population in the United States, Pneumonia is a serious concern. It is the most common hospital-acquired infection for seniors, and is one of the most prevalent nursing home-acquired illnesses. The University of Maryland provides excellent information on the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease in the elderly and other populations. Images and charts make this medical information easier to understand.

What are the Risks of Pneumonia in the Elderly? (find on ipl2)

The elderly are vulnerable to Pneumonia because they often have weakened immune systems and pre-existing health conditions that are worsened by Pneumonia. Common treatments are often not effective for older patients for a variety of reasons. Wisegeek discusses some of the challenges involving older patients and Pneumonia.

Symptoms & Treatment

Pneumonia – MedlinePlus (find on ipl2)

High fever, shaking chills, unproductive cough, shortness of breath– all are possible symptoms of Pneumonia. MedlinePlus, an excellent online health resource, provides plenty of information on the symptoms and treatment of Pneumonia, which is also called Bronchopneumonia.

Pneumonia – Treatment & Drugs (find on ipl2)

Antibiotics, anti-viral medications and vaccinations for children are possible responsive or preventative treatments for Pneumonia. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, treatment for Pneumonia depends largely on its type and severity.

Around the World

World Health Organization – Pneumonia (find on the ipl2)

Pneumonia affects people all across the globe, but it is most prevalent in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization fact sheets provide information about the specific causes of Pneumonia and discusses how to prevent and treat the disease with simple remedies and care.

Pneumonia – The Acute Respiratory Infections Atlas NEW!

The Acute Respiratory Infections Atlas, sponsored by the World Lung Foundation (WLF), provides maps and other information about Pneumonia around the world. Pneumonia, according the WLF, is a disease of poverty.

In the United States

American Lung Association (find on the ipl2)

The American Lung Association discusses the causes, types, treatments and costs of Pneumonia in the United States. It also provides statistics about Pneumonia in the U.S. regarding age, gender and race.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (find on ipl2)

The CDC, a participant and advocacy organization in World Pneumonia Day, reports that “In 2009, 1.1 million people in the United States were hospitalized with pneumonia and more than 50,000 people died from the disease.” The CDC also provides other information as well, including facts on the prevention of the disease through vaccination and good hygiene practices.

Strategies & Progress

What We Do – Pneumonia Strategy Overview – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (find on the ipl2)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is participating in efforts to prevent and treat Pneumonia around the world. The foundation’s “top priority is to promote full-scale delivery of currently available…vaccines and support the development of new vaccines” and to improve access to treatments for those at risk.

Pneumonia Progress Report – IVAC NEW!

The International Vaccine Access Center from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health provides data about the progress the world is making in preventing and treating Pneumonia in the 15 countries with the most child Pneumonia Deaths. Their findings? “Even in the face of significant progress, pneumonia remains the biggest threat to children’s lives, and disproportionately affects the poorest children in the world.”


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