Every year, World Pneumonia Day is celebrated on 12 November in order to raise awareness about the deadly disease. Pneumonia is the world’s biggest infectious killer, claiming the lives of around 2.5 million people and also being a leading cause of death amongst children who are under five years old.
In Pneumonia, a person’s lung tissue gets affected along with the air sacs of the lungs. Inflammation can also lead to water or pus in the alveoli and lung tissue, thereby causing difficulty in breathing, leading to death. Pneumonia affects people of all ages, with children and adults being more at risk. An individual can have mild to acute Pneumonia, depending on how severe the inflammation is.
History of Pneumonia:
World Pneumonia Day was first established in the year 2009. The day was marked by the Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia, a collective association of communities, government, and around 140 non-government organizations.
The World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) came together in the year 2013 to work for reducing the number of Pneumonia deaths by an Integrated Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and diarrhoea. The aim of this collective association is to reduce the number of pneumonia death in children by 2025.
According to Every Breath Counts, a government and private collaboration aimed at reducing the deaths due to Pneumonia, the major cause of Pneumonia deaths is attributed to polluted air and it has claimed the lives of nearly 749,200 people in the year 2019. Indoor pollutants along with outdoor pollutants such as smoke emission from vehicles and industries is a leading cause of respiratory problems in people. Other factors that increase Pneumonia risk include malnutrition, low-birth weight, and non-exclusive breastfeeding.
However, since the world has been hit by COVID19, the total estimate number of deaths due to pneumonia in the world is more than four million now.
This year, World Pneumonia day is being held during COP 26 - the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The aim behind observing this day is to bring people together to understand the problems of climate and air pollution and to help raise awareness through campaigns and also by providing aid against the planet’s biggest infection killer.
This year, the theme for World Pneumonia Day is 'Stop Pneumonia/ Every Breath Counts'. The theme is targeted at increasing the number of affordable medicines and oxygen cylinders in low-income countries.