World Pneumonia Day

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12 Noviembre 2012

MDG 4First launched in 2009 by a coalition of global health leaders, World Pneumonia Day is marked every year on 12 November. World Pneumonia Day seeks to raise awareness of pneumonia as a public health issue and help prevent the millions of avoidable child deaths.

The World Pneumonia Day provides an opportunity to:

  • Raise awareness about pneumonia;
  • Promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia; and
  • Generate action to combat pneumonia

Pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide. Every year, it kills an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of five years, accounting for 18% of all deaths of children under five years old worldwide (World Health Organization). Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere, but is most prevalent in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Though it also remains among the top 10 causes of deaths in the United States, for example, because of deaths in older adults[1]

Pneumonia is one of the most solvable problems in global health, which can be prevented with simple interventions and treated with low-cost, low-tech medication and care, and yet a child dies from the infection every 20 seconds[2].

You can help to change this! Speaking out to bring about change not only for ourselves but also for others has always been the proud tradition of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.  

  • Follow our website to download the WTD Activity pack on MDG 4, which will be available later in November. It includes activities to help members learn about the issues, including pneumonia that affect child health and survival around the world, the root causes of poor health and deaths among children, and ways you can make a difference in your own life, community, country and around the world
  • Tell your friends, family and colleagues about World Pneumonia Day by spreading the word in social media
  • Use World Pneumonia Day 2012 Activist Toolkit and make your voice heard!

Key facts

Pneumonia is a respiratory infection. It can cause the lungs to fill with fluid, which makes it hard to breathe.

  • Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide.
  • Pneumonia kills an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of five years every year – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
  • Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi.
  • Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition and by addressing environmental factors.
  • Pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, but around 30% of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.

World Health Organization factsheet

WAGGGS launched its commitment to Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) campaign on September 25, 2012 at the UN GA event held as part of the EWEC campaign. EWEC campaign aims to advance the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s health and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.