Today is World Pneumonia Day. Did you know that pneumonia is the biggest threat to children worldwide and that we have a vaccine available that can prevent it?
Were you aware that every 20 seconds a child dies from pneumonia, a largely preventable and treatable disease?
Here are some facts on pneumonia and the devastating impact this treatable disease has on child survival. (Source: Action: Global Health Advocacy Partnership):
“Pneumonia is the world’s leading killer of children under the age of 5, causing nearly 1.3 million child deaths each year. Developing countries, and particularly the poorest children within them, are the hardest hit, accounting for 99% of childhood deaths due to pneumonia.
We know how to prevent these deaths. In fact, investments in protecting, preventing, and treating children have led to significant gains in reducing under-five deaths. Although pneumonia kills nearly twice as many children each year than both HIV/AIDS and malaria combined, global funding for pneumonia is significantly lower than funding for HIV/AIDS and malaria control. This silent killer is still responsible for one out of every five child deaths, despite having the tools to prevent and treat it.”
Although much progress has been made towards fighting devastating diseases that has improved child mortality rates across the globe, we aren’t finished yet. The fact that a child is dying every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable death such as pneumonia is unexcusable and unacceptable.
We have the technology and the knowledge to save lives.
Now we need to convince the government to follow through on the promises and commitments made to fund and support programs such as GAVI (that provides vaccines to children in the developing world) and to Front Line Health Care Workers, who are often the only medical attention children will receive.
- Write a letter to your government.
- Meet with your member of Congress or Parliament.
- Raise awareness in your community.
- Express your opinion in your local newspaper.
- Produce a video or write a blog (like I am doing here).
- Participate in community events.
- Only have a few minutes? Sign a pledge to end preventable child deaths with World Vision, or A Promise Renewed!
Learn more at www.action.org.
This post was written on behalf of my advocacy for RESULTS, Shot@Life and ONE. I am meeting with my Congressman next Monday and will be sure to remind him to support funding for Child Survival. With less than 1% of our budget spent on foreign aid, there is a lot to be done. However, I am confident we will make the right decisions and help save lives. No child shouldn’t be able to celebrate their fifth birthday because they are too poor.