99% pneumonia patients die under five years of age

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99% pneumonia patients die under five years of age

On the occasion of World Pneumonia Day, Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases (OICD), Dow University of Health Sciences organized a Seminar at Ojha Campus Karachi. Prof. Dr. Nisar Rao, Director (OICD), Dr. Nadeem Ahmed, Dr. Aisha Wajeeh, Dr. Faheem, Dr. Raheela Kashif, Dr. Farzana Mumtaz and Dr. Mirza Saifullah Baig besides seminar faculty members of the university attended the Seminar.

Sharing his views, Dr. Nisar Rao said that 99 percent of children die younger than five years of age due of pneumonia while one million people suffer from this disease in Pakistan annually. He emphasised on doctors to keep up to date with the knowledge and latest research regarding the disease in order to play a vital role in controlling pneumonia.

He said that India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan have the highest percentage of people dying of pneumonia. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungus. These may include streptococcus pneumonia and influenza type B.

Dr. Faheem said that the so-called “atypical” CAP is often subacute and frequently indolent. Extra pulmonary signs and symptoms seen in some forms of atypical CAP may include mental confusion, Myalgias, ear pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash, non-exudative pharyngitis, splenomegaly and relative bradycardia.

Dr. Mirza Saifullah Baig said that Pneumonia should be prevented to control and cease the increasing death rate in children. It is a contagious disease, thus, good habits such as washing hands regularly; covering mouth while sneezing, smoke free environment and proper vaccination can reduce risk. Since pneumonia often follows respiratory infections, be aware of any symptoms that linger more than a few days. They further said that pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has been added in the vaccination programme since October 2012, and Pakistan is the first ever country in the sub-continent to introduce PCV.

They added that pneumonia is a mild to severe infection that infects the lungs making it difficult to breathe. Pneumonia can cause complication especially in people with weakened immune systems or chronic disease such as diabetes.

It can be most serious in infants and children under five years of age causing shivering, unconsciousness and hypothermia. They also brought into notice the fact that 99 percent of the deaths due to pneumonia are related to under developed countries.

The seminar was concluded with a vote of thanks at the end.