Organized by the World Health Organization, World Pneumonia Day is celebrated around the world on November 12 each year, with the aim of raising awareness about the disease at all levels, in order to control the death rate. This year the theme for this day is 2020, which is “Stop Pneumonia / Every Breath Counts”. Pneumonia is a worldwide disease, estimated to affect one million adults a year in the United States alone, of whom 400,000 require hospitalization and More than 20,000 people die from it. It should be noted that this rate is even higher in people over 65 years of age. According to various health-related organizations, more than 800,000 children worldwide die each year by the age of five, while approximately 2,200 children die of the disease every day. Every 39 seconds, one child develops pneumonia. Affects, most of them up to two years of age, while 153,000 children die of pneumonia in the first month of life. Nigeria tops the list of five countries with half of these children, with 162,000 children dying annually. India is second (with 127,000 children), Pakistan is third (58,000), Congo is fourth (40,000) and Ethiopia is third (32,000). According to a report published by the World Health Organization in 2018, the annual death toll from influenza and pneumonia in Pakistan is 84,788, which is 6.84% of the total deaths. 92,000 children in Pakistan die every year due to this disease. Pneumonia accounts for 16% of all children who die from a variety of ailments. Respiratory tract infections are the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.
The World Bank has divided all countries into four groups in terms of revenue. One group includes low-income countries, the other middle-income countries, the third upper-middle-income countries, and the fourth high-income countries. The causes of death are also different in these groups. Respiratory tract infections are the second leading cause of death in low-income countries, while asthma, infections and respiratory infections are the fourth leading cause of death among middle-income countries. Infection of the lower part of the esophagus. Asthma, lung cancer and infection are the second and third highest middle-income countries, respectively. Asthma, other lung disorders and infections are the fourth and fifth highest income earning countries, respectively. Publicity for pneumonia at all levels is also important because, according to a survey conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) in the United States, 46% of pneumonia patients are infected. Nothing was known about Sixty percent of patients said they had not been advised to be vaccinated against the disease, while 70 percent did not pay attention to pneumonia. If this is the state of awareness in a developed country like the United States, then there is a serious lack of awareness about common ailments in Pakistan. It may be recalled that according to the World Health Organization, Pakistan ranks 122nd out of 190 countries in the world in terms of non-availability of medical facilities.
The lungs, located in the human body, perform their functions at all times, from the first breath to the last breath of life. An individual breathes 18 to 25 times per minute. The trachea (respiratory tract), the bronchi and the bronchioles. When we breathe in through the nose, the tohua travels through the throat to the inner parts of the lungs, where the small air sacs are located. It spreads throughout the body and releases harmful carbon dioxide. If a harmful substance enters the lungs, it is expelled from the body through coughing or sneezing under an automated system. No one can estimate how many times a day the lungs are exposed to harmful substances and how skillfully they remove them from the body. In fact, there is moisture in the lining of the lungs, so as soon as a harmful substance enters the lungs, it sticks to that moisture and the fine fibers of the cells there push the substance upwards and expel it from the lungs. Sometimes harmful substances are not eliminated during this entire process, in which case other defense systems begin to function. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, in which fluid or pus accumulates in the lungs, causing difficulty in the exchange of gases and difficulty in breathing. There is a problem. There are several stages of this disease. In the first stage, the lungs become full of moisture or pus, which makes it difficult to breathe. In the second stage, the moisture increases to such an extent that the color of the lungs first turns red and then brown. In this case, the structure of the lungs looks like the liver. If the pneumonia attack is mild, the patient recovers after one or two weeks. In severe cases, the duration of the disease is prolonged and the cough lasts for several weeks. By the way, children under the age of five are more susceptible to this disease, but the disease usually affects children early on, whose immune system is already weak. In addition, the elderly are more likely to be affected.
Pneumonia is a contagious disease that is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. However, people close to the patient are more likely to be infected. A major cause of pneumonia is a bacterium called Streptococcus. Therefore, this disease is also called Streptococcus pneumoniae. Apart from this bacterium, various viruses and fungi can also cause it. Viruses include influenza and corona viruses. Vaccines are available to prevent bacterial pneumonia, which protects against complications in the event of pneumonia or illness. The disease does not get worse because of the nausea and there is a marked reduction in hospital stay. The vaccine is given to children and people 65 years of age or older. The pneumonia vaccine can also be given to people between the ages of 19 and 64 who are suffering from diabetes, asthma or other diseases. Other types of pneumonia vaccines are also available. A person infected with the flu can also be vaccinated against pneumonia, while there is no harm in vaccinating against the flu and pneumonia at the same time. To be clear, Streptococcus bacteria not only causes pneumonia, but also other diseases such as meningitis. If these bacteria cause pus in the blood, it can be fatal.
When the disease is in its early stages, symptoms usually do not appear. However, coughs, colds, flu and sore throats may be the initial symptoms, while other symptoms include high fever, chills, difficulty breathing, chest pain, rib walking, chills, chest tightness, and neck pain. These include nausea, excessive sweating, excessive sleepiness, lethargy, restlessness and nervousness, not drinking enough or no milk at all, blueness of face and hands, etc. In some cases, cough is accompanied by discharge of mucus. In case of severe illness, blood is also included in the mucus. In addition to these symptoms, drowsiness and restlessness may also appear in the elderly. If pneumonia becomes severe, it can lead to death. Since there are many types of pneumonia, their symptoms may be different. Patients with a mild form of the disease show flu-like symptoms, which last for about ten days. These symptoms include fever, sore throat, headache, vomiting, feeling tired and body aches. This type of pneumonia can be treated at home, consisting of a relaxed, healthy and balanced diet, plenty of water and medication prescribed by a doctor. Physicians usually prescribe antibiotics, antipyretics, and cough syrups, but when the severity of the disease is severe, hospitalization is required to prevent pneumonia from being treated in a timely and appropriate manner. Can be extremely dangerous. High protein foods (such as meat, fish) are helpful for pneumonia patients. These foods are helpful in eliminating infections and repairing damaged cells. Remember, a balanced diet, clean drinking water and vaccines are effective weapons in the fight against pneumonia. In addition to the pneumonia vaccine, the use of flu, whooping cough and measles vaccines also reduces the risk of pneumonia. With the early symptoms of this dangerous type of pneumonia, the patient complains of difficulty in breathing and severe chest pain, while deep breathing can also increase the severity of chest pain. If the disease becomes severe, death can occur due to respiratory tract infections. Most patients recover completely from the disease, but for some the disease can be fatal. Patients treated for pneumonia at the hospital have a mortality rate of 5 to 10 percent, while patients admitted to the intensive care unit can have a mortality rate of up to 30 percent. X-ray, blood and mucus tests are recommended to diagnose the disease. The corona virus also affects the lungs and causes pneumonia. In addition, infected people may develop more painful symptoms. For example, chest pain, chills, nausea, vomiting, hand, stomach and headaches, loss of appetite and taste, or loss of appetite, etc. Severe pneumonia due to corona can be fatal.
Global experts have suggested various measures to prevent diseases. The first step is to prevent the disease from occurring at all, the second is timely diagnosis and immediate treatment. If the disease becomes contagious, the patient is confined to one place for a while, so that other people are safe. And if the disease causes a permanent illness or disability, then rehabilitation efforts should be made and they should be made useful to the society by providing appropriate help. All of these steps are necessary to fight pneumonia. Just as vaccines can prevent the spread of the disease, timely treatment can alleviate the patient’s suffering. In addition to medication, the treatment includes breathing aids and muscle exercises. Since there is a vaccine available to prevent this deadly disease, it is the responsibility of all of us to vaccinate not only ourselves but also our families in a timely manner. Remember, the most effective way to reduce the rate of pneumonia in children is the vaccine, which can also be used to control the lethality of pneumonia. The pneumonia vaccine was included in the Expanded Program on Immunization in Pakistan in 2012. Pakistan is the first country in South Asia where the vaccine is given to children free of cost and this is the result of a 51% reduction in mortality rate between 2000 and 2015, but still thousands of children around the world do not have access to the vaccine. One in three children with pneumonia does not have access to adequate and necessary treatment. It is important to note that the vaccine does not provide 100% protection against pneumonia, although some side effects may occur. Just as certain medications for treating a disease may not be effective for all patients. It is possible that one in a million people, despite being vaccinated against the pneumonia, may have contracted it or suffered side effects, but it is beyond doubt that most people will be vaccinated against the pneumonia. Protected from disease and its complications. So we need to look at the positive aspects of vaccination instead of the negative ones.
By : Dr. Abdul Tawheed Khan