World Pneumonia Day: we can make a difference

On this day, 12 November, we commemorate World Pneumonia Day. This day, established in 2009, is aimed at raising awareness about pneumonia, promoting interventions for protection, prevention and treatment, and generating action to combat pneumonia.

Globally, a child dies from pneumonia every 20 seconds.
(© All Rights Reserved)

It is a sobering fact that, to this day, pneumonia remains the number 1 killer of children under the age of 5, responsible for more than 18% of all deaths in this age category. With some basic interventions, pneumonia can be largely prevented, and yet a child still dies from the infection every 20 seconds. The vast majority of these deaths occur in the developing world, where access to basic health care is severely limited, and out of reach for most children.

To facilitate knowledge sharing, the following infographic has been made available by the Global Coalition Against Childhood Pneumonia. Sharing is encouraged, so feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter here.

You can also access the high-quality PDF of the infographic here:

The World Pneumonia Day website suggests a number of things we can do to get involved. These include:

  • learning more about pneumonia here;
  • supporting the knowledge sharing drive by getting involved in the World Pneumonia Day social media campaign above; and
  • donating $10 to provide one child with a lifetime of protection, via the GAVI Campaign.

The fight against pneumonia can be won, and we can help make it happen.

United Nations Day and the need for coordinated action

Today the United Nations celebrate two special observances – World Development Information Day and UN Day. Both of these focus in some sense on the work done by the UN since it’s establishment in 1945, with World Development Information Day focusing specifically on the sharing of development information among UN member states.

Given the dire conditions millions of people are living in, and the massive challenges facing the world in terms of getting even close to realising the Millennium Development Goals of 2015, the UN has a critical role to play around coordination of activities and initiatives across the globe and among its members.

Maternal health and child health are among the topics addressed by Millennium Development Goals set forth by the UN.
(© All Rights Reserved)

The UN is active on many fronts – peace, development, human rights, the environment and the empowerment of women and children. In the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “The United Nations is not just a meeting place for diplomats. The United Nations is a peacekeeper disarming fighters, a health worker distributing medicine, a relief team aiding refugees, a human rights expert helping deliver justice.”

The eradication of poverty and hunger – another of the themes of the Millennium Development Goals.
(© All Rights Reserved)

In pursuing these initiatives, the UN depends on countless groups and organisations – NGOs, researchers, philanthropists, champions from the business world, religious leaders and academics. Beyond these there’s the contribution everyday citizens can make – individually, we may not be able to achieve the stretching targets set forth to better the world, but if actions are coordinated and everyone pulls in the same direction, miracles are possible.