12 November: World Pneumonia Day
The World Pneumonia Day is observed globally every year on November 12 to generate awareness about the ‘pneumonia’ disease. The observance of day aims to highlight the severity of pneumonia and bring together the people from all over the world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease.
Significance of Day
- Raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under age of five.
- Promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia and
- Generate action to combat pneumonia.
The World Pneumonia Day was first observed in 2009 after more than 100 organisations joined together form Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia. At present, global coalition comprises of over 140 NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations.
Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs. Lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
It is caused by number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae (most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia), Respiratory syncytial virus is most common viral cause of pneumonia.
Vaccinations are available against several common organisms that are known to cause pneumonia. Besides, antibiotics can also treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection.