Thursday, November 12, 2015
World Pneumonia day
Pneumonia is an infectious illness affecting million of children around the world. World pneumonia day was created in 2009 and is celebrated each year on November 12th. Was you aware that pneumonia is the leading killer of children under the age of 5? I did not know this myself. World pneumonia day wants to help promote intervention and generate action to combat pneumonia.
Our own family has been touched with childhood pneumonia. Many of our own children have asthma. My siblings had pneumonia when they were younger but it was so much different when our first child was diagnosed. It was 25 years ago that our daughter was 6 weeks old and diagnosed with double lung pneumonia. Scared as we were we learned to listen, cuddle and follow the dr and his direction. We spent a week in the hospital that time. There were several other hospital visits and battles with pneumonia that would follow. Currently our grand-son has a touch of pneumonia and we are praying and caring for him. We trust the dr. and medication and believe he will be up and feeling well again soon.
While antibiotics and vaccines are important when battling pneumonia the war on pneumonia is so much more. The goal is to prevent, diagnose and treat. Most important is areas where resources are low and too many children are dying due to delays in care, diagnosis and treatment. Innovations that help reduce children's exposure to toxic smoke from indoor cooking fumes and increase the proportion of babies fed with breastmilk. Diagnostic tools that any health worker can easily use accurately to id a child at risk of pneumonia is very important. Tools should enable rapid diagnosis of oxygen deprivation and trigger faster access to oxygen therapy. Family friendly formulation of antibiotics that are easy for parents to give and the child can easily take.
Innovators are currently working on respiratory rate timers that automatically count breaths, pulse oximeters that operate on cellphones, oxygen therapy delivered via a shampoo bottle, antibiotics that can be squeezed out of a tube and eaten like baby food, solar powered cooking technology, and human milk banks where even the sickest newborns can get the protection of breast milk from donors.
Find out more information on the World Pneumonia Day Facebook page here