Pneumonia, biggest killer of children

Pneumonia, biggest killer of children
Highlights

Pneumonia, Biggest Killer of Children, Deaths Caused by Pneumonia, Pneumonia and Diarrhoea. Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.

“The number of deaths caused by pneumonia is more than the number of deaths caused by measles, malaria and AIDS combined,” said Dr Chaitanya Battu, pulmonologist, Mediciti Hospitals.


“Pneumonia and diarrhoea are leading causes of death among children under the age of five. So much needs to be done to bring about awareness about pneumonia among the public,” added Dr Battu.


Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake. It spreads through air, coughing and sneezing. Many experts raised their voice for promoting advanced interventions to protect people, especially children from pneumonia.


“This infection first starts at the upper respiratory part. If it’s not treated in time, it would affect the lower respiratory part and throw the patients into dangerous pneumonia. During winter season, pneumonia is a big threat to public. Pneumonia and diarrhoea are largely preventable diseases. Children should be administered vaccines without fail,” said Dr K Subhakar, pulmonologist, Government Chest Hospital.


“Irrespective of age, many people suffer from cough, cold and respiratory infections in winter. Besides those, COPD, Asthma, Pneumonia and spurt of TB cases are also high. Avoid taking frozen food, cool drinks and ice creams. Smoking is also dangerous. People who suffer from respirator problems should consult pulmonologists without delay. Stopping self medication is also significant,” he added.


“Pneumonia should be treated with antibiotics. Most cases of pneumonia require oral antibiotics. Hospitalisation is recommended only for severe cases of pneumonia and for all cases of pneumonia in infants younger than two months of age. Pneumonia can be prevented by vaccination, adequate nutrition, hygiene and early consultation of doctor. At a later stage, complications such as meningitis, bacteremia (spread through blood) and sepsis will arise. Its prevalence is more among the poorest and most marginalised sections of children,” told Dr Battu.


“Control measures of airborne infection are mostly absent in the health care system policies and practices. That’s why a number of health workers are infected by airborne diseases,” expressed a concerned medical expert in government tertiary hospital.

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