November 12th is World Pneumonia Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about this disease. Here are 7 reasons why you should care (and take action by tweeting the links below).
1. Pneumonia is the leading killer of children under age 5 worldwide (tweet this). In 2012, 1.1 million children didn’t make it to their fifth birthday because of pneumonia.
2. Pneumonia is responsible for almost 60,000 deaths in the U.S. annually.
3. According to a report from the UN Children’s Fund, pneumonia’s “impact is worst among the poorest and most marginalized children, and among those who lack access to safe drinking water or improved sanitation.” Ninety-nine percent of pneumonia deaths occur in developing countries.
4. There is good news too: From 2000 to 2012, childhood deaths from pneumonia decreased by 35 percent (tweet this).
5. We have several tools to prevent children from becoming ill. The pneumococcal vaccine protects children from the bacterial pneumococcal disease, which can cause meningitis and pneumonia. Scaling up coverage of this vaccine in the world’s 73 poorest countries would avert $51 billion dollars in treatment costs and productivity losses.
6. One of the biggest causes of pneumonia is found in hundreds of millions of homes: the smoke from cooking with solid fuels over open fires. Clean cookstoves and fuels reduce harmful smoke so children can breathe easy (tweet this).
7. Breastfeeding, antiobiotics, and making sure children get the proper nutrition are other steps that can stop pneumonia from taking children’s lives.
Simply put: We can make dramatic progress against pneumonia – but we need your help expanding access to vaccines, clean cookstoves, clean water, and sanitation.
The UN Foundation supports a number of efforts to fight pneumonia. We hope you will take a moment to learn more and get involved!
· The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves aims to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.
· The UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign works to expand access to lifesaving vaccines.
· The UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child movement brings together governments, businesses, and other groups to improve maternal and child health.
· The World Health Organization, the UN Children’s Fund, and the U.S. Agency for International Development have released a Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia & Diarrhea, which calls for the elimination of preventable childhood deaths from the two ailments by 2025.