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World Pneumonia Day --- November 12, 2011

Pneumonia kills more children than any other illness; among approximately 9 million children aged <5 years who die each year worldwide, 1.6 million die from pneumonia (1). At the 2010 World Health Assembly, a resolution on the prevention and control of childhood pneumonia was passed (2). The resolution stated that leaders in each country should implement comprehensive plans to reduce pneumonia deaths. This effort will support United Nations Millennium Development Goal 4, which states that childhood mortality should be reduced by two thirds from 1990 to 2015 (3).

Illness and deaths from pneumonia can be reduced with the use of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), influenza, and measles vaccines; antimicrobial treatments; and supportive health care, among other strategies.

To raise awareness of the effects of pneumonia globally, the third annual World Pneumonia Day, November 12, 2011, is being promoted by a coalition of approximately 120 major health, humanitarian relief, advocacy, faith-based, government, and other organizations; CDC and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are providing technical assistance. Events are scheduled around the world. More information is available at http://worldpneumoniaday.org.

References

  1. Black RE, Cousens S, Johnson HL, et al. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2008: a systematic analysis. Lancet 2010;375:1969--87.
  2. World Health Organization. Treatment and prevention of pneumonia. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2010. Available at http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/wha63/a63_26-en.pdf. Accessed October 25, 2011.
  3. United Nations. Goal 4: reduce child mortality. New York, NY: United Nations; 2010. Available at http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/childhealth.shtml. Accessed October 25, 2011.


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