World Pneumonia Day

November 2, 2009 is the first annual World Pneumonia Day, recognizing the world’s leading child killer as a global public health issue. A network of nearly 100 IGO, NGO, research and academic institutions, foundations, and community-based organizations have joined forces to raise awareness and urge governments and policymakers to combat this preventable illness. Each year, over 2 million children under the age of five die from pneumonia and pneumonia-related complications.

Although this is a great venture, it is surprising to see that this is the first campaign of its kind. Being the leading killer of children, it is outrageous to know this disease is not only treatable, but preventable. It leads me to wonder: “Why hasn’t more been done?” Mary Beth Powers, Campaign Chief of Save the Children said in an interview about pneumonia, “The sad thing is this is a disease that is largely preventable, and highly treatable.” This is not a disease that requires decades of scientific research to find a cure. Watch the movie.

According to leading public health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, many deaths can be prevented through early vaccination, proper medication (antibiotics) and nutrition, and vitamin supplements, such as zinc that is not typically found in a lower-income diet. Read more about the cause, prevention and treatment of pneumonia at the World Pneumonia Day website.

I would encourage everyone to spread the word about World Pneumonia Day, so greater awareness is made. The coalition firmly believes these deaths can be avoided, and encourages others to join the fight against pneumonia by:

1. Signing the pledge to fight pneumonia
2. Joining the coalition
3. Donating to the cause
4. Educating others about pneumonia prevention, diagnosis and treatment
5. Participating in a World Pneumonia Day event

Dr. Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General: a Smart Communications Choice

I was surprised when I first heard about Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s possible appointment to US Surgeon General by president elect Barack Obama.  What type of message did it send to young people in the field of public health that the pathway to leadership was through the lens of a TV camera rather than toiling in the trenches of public health programs?  Continue reading “Dr. Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General: a Smart Communications Choice”

Hello APHA International Health Section Members and Friends!

It is a New Year and a new beginning for communicating among members of the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association. What is new?

 I would like to invite you to write for the IH Blog. If you have any suggestions concerning topics that you would like to discuss, feel free to comment. Continue reading “Hello APHA International Health Section Members and Friends!”