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Science and Environment

NIH, UP-Manila, Pharex launch StoPneumonia drive

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MANILA, Philippines – The National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines-Manila and Pharex Health Corp. recently launched the “StoPneumonia” campaign, a health awareness program that will involve public workshops and distribution of informative literature targeting mothers, caregivers, including health workers.

The campaign was initiated in response to the urgent need to prevent pneumonia, which is the number one killer of young children worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund, the disease kills two million children every year, 9,000 of them young Filipinos.

The two organizations also reported that only about one out of five caregivers know the danger signs of pneumonia and only about half of the children sick with this disease receive appropriate medical care.

The StoPneumonia campaign aims to save more Filipino children from falling prey to the disease by teaching the public how to recognize the critical symptoms of pneumonia and stress on seeking immediate medical attention.

Under the program, the National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines-Manila, led by its executive director, Dr. Lulu Bravo, will spearhead the public health awareness campaign to help in early recognition, prevention and treatment of pneumonia among young Filipino children.

Pharex Health Corp. will support this effort by disseminating poster materials for healthcare workers and public health offices, lay information materials, and lecture slide or audio-visual presentations for caregivers.

Bravo said, “Pneumonia is a form of acute lower respiratory infection that affects the lungs. When a person is sick with pneumonia, he or she has pus or fluid in one or both lungs, which interferes with oxygen absorption, making it difficult to breathe.”

She added that this disease usually starts with mild illnesses such as cough or common cold.

For children however, infections that begin with mild symptoms may sometimes lead to more severe maladies like pneumonia. Young children can die of this disease within five days, if left unchecked.

The StoPneumonia campaign emphasized that it only takes less than a minute to save millions of children from pneumonia.

There are three essential steps that could help reduce pneumonia deaths among children. The first and most critical step is to recognize a sick child by paying close attention to the frequency of breathing.

Since unusually rapid and labored breathing is a strong symptom of the disease, parents are advised to count the number of breath per minute to determine if the child has pneumonia: 60 “breaths” for infants below two months; 50 for children below one year old, and 40 for those above one year old and up to five years old.

If the child’s breathing exceeds this critical number per minute, there is a very high chance he is sick with pneumonia. The second step is to immediately seek appropriate care, and third is to treat immediately with antibiotics.

For pneumonia cases caused by bacterial pathogens, early treatment backed by a full course of effective antibiotics could significantly lessen fatalities.

“Mother and caregivers play an important role in combating pneumonia. We have to ensure that they know the danger signs of this disease so that they will be prompted to go to their doctor and treatment could be administered,” said Bravo.

Pharex Health Corp. president and CEO Tomas Marcelo Agana III enjoined everyone to support the StoPneumonia campaign.


CHILDREN

DISEASE

DR. LULU BRAVO

HEALTH

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

PHAREX HEALTH CORP

PNEUMONIA

STO

TOMAS MARCELO AGANA

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-MANILA

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-MANILA AND PHAREX HEALTH CORP

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