Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Annually, pneumonia claims the lives of over 920,000 children under five each year – more than diarrhea, malaria, and HIV combined. Despite these sobering statistics, there is hope: vaccines. Shot@Life works to increase access to vaccines for children around the world, an effort that could prevent almost one-third of childhood pneumonia deaths every year. In addition to being one of the safest, most cost-effective ways to save lives, vaccination programs result in economic savings and strengthen global health security in an increasingly connected world.
Today is World Pneumonia Day, an opportunity for the global health community to come together and celebrate the progress we have made in combating pneumonia while recommitting to our efforts to stop every preventable case of pneumonia. Here is how you can make an impact to help reach children around the world with lifesaving pneumococcal vaccines.
1) Use Your
Voice: Tell officials why stopping pneumonia should be a priority
In 2013, UNICEF and the World Health Organization came together to develop the Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea, in the hopes of ending preventable child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea by 2025. This plan is a positive step towards holding officials accountable for the 2025 goals. To advance these goals for 2025, tell your members of Congress to continue supporting the United Nations, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization. Sign the Shot@Life petition to make sure your legislators know to champion global vaccine access.
2) Learn about
Partners in the Fight: Corporations doing good
When Shot@Life and Walgreens joined forces to promote immunization access, they launched a public-private partnership that as of this year has provided more than 50 million lifesaving vaccines to children around the world. The simple act of getting a flu shot at a Walgreens store in the U.S. supports the delivery of a vaccine to a child in need.
Shot@Life has also partnered with the Philips Foundation and other organizations to tackle childhood pneumonia. Combining the volunteering activities of Philips’ employees, local stakeholder knowledge, accessible and affordable technology, and the scale-up capabilities of international NGOs, this childhood pneumonia program exemplifies the Philips Foundation’s commitment to driving and supporting initiatives that deliver long-term value and achieve lasting impact. Over the past twelve months, the program is estimated to have improved more than 700,000 lives, in countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Malawi and India.
3) Spread the Word: Help work towards #NoMoPneumo on social media
Help spread the word about the impact of pneumonia and the difference vaccines can make to save children around he world. Like and retweet our post to let your friends and family members know that you want to live in a world with #NoMoPneumo.
Together, we can make an impact this World Pneumonia Day!