KOCHI: In a novel effort to bring down the infant child mortality rate due to pneumonia across the country, the Indian Academy of Pediatrics(IAP) Kochi branch, on Wednesday flagged off the global campaign called ‘Fight Pneumonia and save a child.’
The campaign was launched to enhance awareness about the disease and its preventive measures on the occasion of World Pneumonia Day observed here on Wednesday.
Addressing mediapersons, IAP national president Dr Sachidanantha Kammath said that infant mortality caused by pneumonia has been a major concern across the country. “Around 20 per cent of deaths are happening in the first 28 days or under a year after the birth of the infant. The country witnesses 45 million pneumonia cases among children under the age of five years, of which 0.37 million die due to pneumonia,” he said.
“It is alarming that 75 per cent of infant deaths in the country are due to pneumonia. But it would be comparatively very low when we take the case of Kerala as the state is more aware about the disease,” he added.
“Pneumonia can be prevented by proper immunisation, breast feeding in the first six months and good food with rich protein content. In fact we have formulated a theme ‘Universal access to pneumonic prevention and care’ this year for creating awareness and therefore the country will significantly reduce mortality rates due to vaccine preventable diseases like pneumonia,” said Dr M Narayanan, president IAP Kochi.
“While the Centre is working towards introducing favourable solutions to reduce the disease burden, it is important for pediatricians, pulmonologists and the public to join the drive against childhood pneumonia and take appropriate action to save young lives,” he added