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Pneumonia in Children – The Relentless Killer

Submitted by on November 16, 2010 – 5:35 amNo Comment

Childhood Pneumonia is the leading disease responsible for killing young children, aged even below 5 years. If it was any other disease like AIDS or malaria or the poxes, then the shock would have been a little laid back. But at the news of pneumonia being such a brutal disease, even the doctors are amazed. And the worst part is that pneumonia in children is a preventable and curable disease. There are vaccinations available that can be used to prevent the sole causes of pneumonia in children. And these treatments for childhood pneumonia are very cost- beneficial. The misery is that these vaccines are not availed by the developing countries. If this could be possible then over a million pneumonic children could be saved every year.

November 12 is the celebrated as the World Pneumonia Day, promoted jointly by the numerous health and humanitarian organizations, like Save the Children. Several awareness programs are conducted on this day to spread knowledge and wakefulness regarding the fatalness of pneumonia in children. These kinds of awareness camps share the facts with common people about the disease – what is the current scenario, rising mortality rates among young ones due to the disease, why it is so dreadful, what re the causes and suggestions is that people could follow to prevent this disease in children. The preventive measures of pneumonia include antibiotic vaccinations, which cost less than $1 per case. Other homely preventive techniques suggested are breastfeeding the infant for the first 6 – 8 months. Providing good nutrition to children since birth is a good way of keeping them from pneumonia. Getting them indulged in exercise and other energetic activities also reduces the risk of pneumonia in children as it directly targets the improvement of the immune system. Reducing the pollution of the atmosphere in areas where the child spends most time while still young, like nurseries, play schools, home, etc. is also a preventive step. Inducing good and hygiene- oriented habits - like washing hands, feet and face every time after returning home and before eating or drinking - can protect the little ones from the dread of pneumonia. Prevention of any kind of transmission of a chronic and fatal disease from the mother to the child, including pregnancy period, can extend a great help in the overall healthy birth and living of the child.

These are simple, regular health care tips that a family must be, and I believe definitely they are, practicing. Then why are children, in such a huge number, contracting pneumonia and why is the dread of this disease increasing? One reason can be the delay in diagnosis. Pneumonia does not show specific symptoms. They are very similar to the common cold, and hence, most health care takers fail to diagnose them first hand. A setback in detection of the disease leads to delayed commencement of the treatment. Also, the present is portraying shortage of health care workers due to which the number of children receiving appropriate care during pneumonia is diminishing. The need of even more fighters for pneumonic diseases is screaming urgency. And they are required on the frontlines to save these young bereavements.

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