Global Coalition to observe first ever World Pneumonia Day on November 2Global Coalition against Pneumonia representing over 50 child health organizations from all over the world will observe November 2 as the first World Pneumonia Day. With over two million children under five years of age who succumb to pneumonia annually which is more than from AIDS, measles and malaria combined, there is need to treat and prevent this dreadful disease.

World Pneumonia Day is being observed to ensure that necessary intervention reaches children in the world’s most vulnerable countries, according to the Global Coalition against Pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data published in The Lancet in September 2009, every minute, one child dies of pneumonia in India. Pneumonia kills more than 4 million people annually and half of these deaths occur among children under age 5.

A coordinated and concerted global effort will help ensure that pneumonia gets the much- needed attention that will lead stakeholders and governments to develop, implement, and monitor comprehensive programmes. There is need to draw the attention of the global leaders that to improve child survival cut child mortality by two thirds by 2015.

In this regard the Global Coalition against Pneumonia calls for a three-pronged solution to protect, prevent, and treat. Programmes should protect children by promoting exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of life. Vaccination programmes in countries where children die of pneumonia should include immunizations to prevent deaths.