Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 worldwide. It can be caused by bacterial, viral and fungal infections of the respiratory tract, and it can be prevented. Despite this, every 39 seconds, 1 child dies from pneumonia in the world. In Bangladesh, 12,000 children under the age of 5 die from pneumonia every year. Last year, 17% of the total patients in Bangladesh Shishu Hospital & Institute were admitted for treatment of pneumonia. However, the high mortality rates of pneumonia can be easily brought down by ensuring routine vaccination of children, breastfeeding for 6 months, rational use of antibiotics and a safe, smoke-free environment.
World Pneumonia Day is celebrated annually on the 12th of November. Around the world, a range of events are held to raise awareness for protection against pneumonia. Like every year, Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) celebrated this day with diverse activities, partnering with a few other organizations also working towards child development. CHRF initiated a two-day (November 13 and 14) program to raise public awareness on prevention of pneumonia. The goal this year was to spread this message this while still following health regulations and assessing the current state of the pandemic.
The activities organized by the initiative of CHRF were joined by 5 significant hospitals in the country (including Bangladesh Shishu Hospital and Institute, Dr. MR Khan Shishu Hospital & Insititute of Child Health, Keraniganj Upazila Health Complex, Kumudini Women's Medical College & Hospital) and 1 Upazila Complex (Mirzapur), where exhibition camps were set up to raise awareness. Specialized doctors were a part of the exhibition camps and provided various suggestions regarding pneumonia and its cure. Other activities included distributing Pneumonia Day leaflets and raising awareness through social media campaigns.
The celebration of World Pneumonia Day was inaugurated at Bangladesh Shishu Hospital and Institute by the Director of the Hospital, Prof. Syed Shafi Ahmed, the Deputy Director, Dr. Prabir Kumar Sarkar and the Director of CHRF and eminent scientist, Dr. Senjuti Saha. Among others, some noteworthy guests included the President of Bangladesh Pediatric Pulmonary Forum, Prof. Al-Amin Mridha, Resident Physician of Bangladesh Children's Hospital and Institute, Assistant Professor Dr. Rizwanul Ahsan; Assistant Director of CHRF, Maksuda Islam, and Senior Research Investigator of CHRF, Mohammad Shahidul Islam, along with other officials and staff of CHRF and Bangladesh Shishu Hospital & Institute.
The event at Kumudini Women's Medical College Hospital was inaugurated by the Principal of Bharateshwari Homes, Trio Barua, and Director & Scientist at CHRF, Dr. Senjuti Saha. At the Jamurki Upazila Health Complex, the event was inaugurated by Mirzapur Upazila’s Health and Family Planning Officer, Dr. Md. Faridul Islam. In Mirzapur Upazila Parishad, the event was inaugurated by Upazila Executive Officer, Md. Hafizur Rahman. At Dr. MR Khan Children's Hospital and Institute of Child Health, the event was inaugurated by Director Brigadier General (Retd) Dr. Abdullah-Al-Mamun. At Keraniganj Upazila Health Complex, the event was inaugurated by Dhaka Divisional Director (Health), Dr. Md. Belal Hossain and Divisional Civil Surgeon, Abu Hossain Md. Moinul Ahsan.