Everyday in the Philippines there are about 37 children (1-59 months old) die due to pneumonia and 13 children (1-59 months old) die to diarrhea.
Prevention is better than cure
No hope lost if we prevent our children becoming ill from these two dreaded disease. How?
1. Hand-washing with soap. Remember the commercial that you teach your kids to sing ‘Happy Birthday‘ song while washing their hands? Singing the whole song will help kids to wash their hands thoroughly to wash away the bacteria and germs that they carry in their hands. Picking on toys and other objects, they usually put these in their mouths too, pose great danger to kids. So teach them to hand-wash with soap.
2. Safe drinking and water sanitation. Not just outside or in the streets, even at home, parents must make sure that the drinking water are pure and safe to drink. If you are doubtful of the water coming out of the faucet, buying mineral or distilled water from groceries or refilling station could just be another option.
3. Reduce household air pollution. if you think that smog and smokes coming from the vehicles are hazardous for the health, think of smoking inside the house. Medical studies also noted that smokes from cigarettes also contribute tot he source of bacteria that will produce pneumonia among kids. Solution, stay-away from smoking inside your homes.
4. Vaccination. Through vaccination, children are saved from rotavirus and other types of life-threatening diseases.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is a pneumococcal vaccine used to protect infants and young children against disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). There are currently three PCV vaccines available on the global market: Prevnar (called Prevenar in some countries), Synflorix and Prevnar 13.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children.
Pneumonia and rotavirus are preventable through vaccination – there is a need to inform parents that these diseases are now vaccine-preventable.
Prevention is KEY
But no child has to die because of pneumonia or rotavirus diseases, especially since these are both highly preventable. Early protection is the key to reduce disease burden.
Among the ways to get your child protected aside from breastfeeding, hand washing, preventing air pollution, and adequate nutrition, is through vaccination.
“It’s the best time to raise awareness on pneumonia and diarrhea prevention. These diseases should not cause unnecessary suffering to young children,” says Dr. Sally Gatchalian, Philippine Foundation for Vaccination Director. “Sometimes it’s just that parents don’t know enough about these diseases, and they don’t know that there are actually vaccines for them.”
The government’s role in fighting these killer diseases
In 2012, the Philippine government has already acknowledged this burden and addressed it by introducing Rotavirus Vaccine (RV) in the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) where 700,000 Filipino children aged 6 weeks up to 6 months of age were given free rotavirus vaccines.
In 2013, the Department of Health (DOH) leveled up the fight against the top killer of Filipino children by including another novel vaccine called Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) in the EPI.
This combined effort to protect Filipino children against pneumonia and diarrhea contributes to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 of reducing infant and child mortality by 2/3 by 2015. RV and PCV are novel vaccines introduced by the DOH in the last 5 years and the Philippines is the first country in the ASEAN region to introduce both vaccines in the EPI.
GSK’s support in this crusade
As one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, GSK continues to be a committed partner of both private healthcare practitioners and the government in the fight against childhood diseases, death and suffering around the world by offering health solutions for the reduction of overall diseases.
The “No Hope Lost” campaign from GlaxoSmithKline, which embodies the need for immediate action to get children vaccinated against pneumonia and diarrhea, will soon be launched through radio ads, print notices, flyers, and posters.
“With the help of our dear pediatricians, and the Department of Health, we are committed to the reduction of pneumonia and diarrhea cases nationwide by supplying high quality vaccines. These diseases account for an alarming almost 50 mortalities per day in the Philippines. GSK is here to support the Filipino medical community and the government’s drive to make health services accessible to everyone,” added Philip Cruz, GSK Medical Director.
Ask your pediatrician about preventive measures against pneumococcal and rotavirus diseases.
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