KARACHI- In light of World Pneumonia Day, which is marked on November 12th across the globe, eminent Pediatricians of our country have urged parents to get their children vaccinated against pneumonia, which is killing around 92,000 children under the age of five, every year.
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory tract infection of lung tissue. When someone falls prey to this infectious condition, the alveoli-small sacs in lungs- get filled with pus or other kind of fluid instead of air, limiting oxygen consumption, making breathing painful for the patient.
President Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA), Sindh, and Chairman and Head of Pediatric Children’s Hospital, Baqai Medical University, Prof. Dr Jalal Akbar, discussed the importance of vaccines in reducing the spread of infectious diseases and saving precious lives.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, pneumonia accounts for 16% of total deaths in children under the age of 5 years. Pakistan is said to be among the top five countries accountable for 99% of childhood pneumonia cases.
Furthermore, Prof. Jalal Akbar added that the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, designed to fight Pneumonia, was introduced in Pakistan’s EPI program in October 2012, making Pakistan the first South Asian country to include PCV in its National Immunization Program.
General Secretary PPA Central, Dr Mushtaq A Memon, stated, “Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) can only be achieved through awareness. Awareness regarding causes and symptoms of pneumonia should be spread amongst parents. Only then they will be able to understand the burden of this disease and the importance of vaccination.”
He also urged stakeholders from various walks of life, including NGOs, media personnel, and members of health fraternity, to come together and work for this cause by spreading awareness amongst the masses.