On 12 November 2012, the world will recognise the fourth annual World Pneumonia Day.
Pneumonia is the leading killer of children under the age of five worldwide – responsible for nearly one in five global child deaths annually. In 2011 alone, 1.3 million young children died from this preventable and treatable illness. Yet many of these lives could be saved by simple interventions such as vaccination against the most common causes of pneumonia.
World Pneumonia Day aims to increase awareness about pneumonia. It was created in 2009 by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia, of which GAVI is a founding member.
On the first World Pneumonia Day, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, together with GAVI and partners, launched the Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP).
This plan focuses on increasing access to vaccines, improving nutrition (through measures such as exclusive breastfeeding), reducing exposure to indoor air pollution, and increasing access to antimicrobial drugs that can treat pneumonia.