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  • 28 Jul 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported that Pneumonia contributes 16.9% of infant deaths and it is the 2nd highest cause of infant mortality (after prematurity & low birth weight).

Key Points

  • About:
    • Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection of the lungs. It is also a Pneumococcal disease caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus.
  • Cause:
    • It doesn’t have one single cause – it can develop from either bacteria, viruses or fungi in the air.
  • Vulnerability:
    • Children whose immune systems are immature (i.e. newborns) or weakened – such as by undernourishment, or diseases like HIV – are more vulnerable to pneumonia.
  • Spread:
    • Pneumonia is contagious and can be spread through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread through fluids, like blood during childbirth, or from contaminated surfaces.
  • Vaccine:
  • Diseases Burden:
    • Global: Together, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Pakistan account for more than half of all deaths due to pneumonia among children under 5.
    • Annually, India witnesses an estimated 71% of pneumonia deaths and 57% of severe pneumonia cases.
  • Initiatives Related to Pneumonia:
    • Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS): The aim is to reduce child mortality due to pneumonia, which contributes to around 15% of deaths of children under the age of five annually.
      • The government aims to achieve a target of reducing pneumonia deaths among children to less than three per 1,000 live births by 2025.
    • In 2014, India launched ‘Integrated Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (IAPPD)’ to undertake collaborative efforts towards prevention of diarrhoea and Pneumonia related under-five deaths.
      • The WHO and UNICEF had launched an integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD).

Source: PIB

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