November 12: World Pneumonia Day

The World Pneumonia Day is observed globally every year on November 12 to generate awareness about the ‘pneumonia’ disease. 
The 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.
2016 Theme: Keep the Promise, Stop Pneumonia Now”.
The World Pneumonia Day was first observed in 2009 after more than 100 organisations joined together form the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia. At present, the global coalition comprises of over 140 NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations.
About Pneumonia

  • Pneumonia is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs. It is most commonly due to an infection. It is a leading cause of death for children under the age of five years around the world.
  • It may be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The most common bacterial type that causes pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae.
  • Signs and symptoms: Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
  • Treatment: 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.

India’s pneumonia and diarrhoea burden

  • India’s position is much where it stood in the year 2015. It tops with a total of 2,96,279 deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea in 2015 compared to last year’s figure of 2,97,114 deaths.
  • The Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report has placed India among the top of the list of 15 nations.
  • Five countries among those with the highest pneumonia burden are India, Indonesia, Chad, China and Somalia.
  • These countries are still not using pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in their routine immunisation programmes which were introduced in 2000.

Preventive steps taken: Recently, India had announced a partial introduction of these vaccines in five states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh) from 2017. Earlier in 2015, India had introduced rotavirus vaccines in four States.