Shot At Spelling "Pneumonia"

November 12, 2013 BY Purnima Ramakrishnan

I asked my son, who just turned seven, to spell pneumonia—he prides himself on being a Spelling Bee Champion. As a mother, I was so proud and happy when he spelt it right. He did a whoop and ran away to play outdoors.

Unfortunately, not many children live to be old enough to do this. Pneumonia accounts for 18% of child deaths in developing countries and is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India accounts for 50% of child pneumonia deaths. Each year, six million children are affected and 370,000 children die from pneumonia.

The good news is that the Indian government has taken huge steps to eradicate pneumonia. By introducing the pentavalent vaccine, it is hoped that India could better control and manage pneumonia for children under the age of five. The government has also made their Acute Respiratory Tract Infection (ARI) programs a top priority. Because of these programs, health care workers can successfully diagnose, manage and treat pneumonia along with other respiratory tract infections.

Awareness and responsibility has also been embraced by the people of India. For example, I helped rally women and mothers to raise awareness of the importance of immunisations worldwide through the GAVI Global Tea Party, an initiative from the GAVI Alliance and World Moms Blog.

Below is a picture from a GAVI Global Tea Party I recently hosted at my house in Chennai, India. My 90 year old grandmother took part and said that one generation’s efforts in sticking to the immunisation schedule will help eradicate a disease from the whole country.

Pneumonia is a killer disease which can be prevented by a vaccine. India is on the right track, and so is the world. As a mother and as a blogger from an international community, which includes many Shot@Life Champions, I am proud to say that we are doing our part to help give all children a shot at being spelling bee champions.


POSTED IN: Parenthood, Vaccines, Global Health


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Submitted by Jen Burden @WorldMomsBlog on: December 17, 2013 Great post, Purnima!!
Submitted by Purnima@The Alchemist's Blog on: November 14, 2013 Kristyn, Thank you. I am in awe with all your good work in Africa! Much love!
Submitted by Purnima@The Alchemist's Blog on: November 14, 2013 Olga, Wow! That is such an interesting thing to say. I almost expected my son to start with 'N', but it was a pleasant surprise to see him starting with, 'P.' lol! Yes, let us do our part in eradicating Pneumonia!
Submitted by Kristyn at on: November 14, 2013 Wonderful post and great work that you are doing! Keep up the good work!!
Submitted by Olga@EuropeanMama on: November 14, 2013 Love this article! Let's make pneumonia a difficult word to spell, not a difficult disease to die from!

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