'Pneumonia on the rise in Asia'
By Express News Service | Published: 24th September 2013 09:21 AM |
27 per cent of the world’s pneumococcal diseases are in India, while Asia and Africa account for a total of 66 per cent of the cases, according to a report by the International Vaccine Access Centre.
Adam Finn, Consultant in Pediatric Infectious Disease in Royal Bristol Children’s Hospital, UK said, “The only available solution for this disease is immunisation or vaccines - they are highly potent and bring down the numbers by large but they’re not the final answer. This applies to India too, where a clear study needs to be done.” He was speaking at the 14th millennium oration of Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust Hospital on Saturday on the topic ‘Pneumcoccol Disease – Past, Present and Future’.
Cases of pneumococcol diseases, like pneumonia and meningitis, have been the major focus for paediatricians these days as it largely affects children below the age of five. According to doctors, though they were prevalent earlier, the number has recently increased drastically, especially in developing countries like India where there is a large number of people below the poverty line.
“Awareness is the foremost thing needed, and that is lacking in India. But the recent efforts by the government to make vaccines cheaper might definitely help bring down the diseases to some extent,” said a paediatrician present on the occasion.