Graceful moves to fight Pneumonia

SOMETIMES  it takes grace, poise, and harmony to win a war against sickness—especially a disease as deadly as pneumonia. The Philippines is still among the top ten countries with the most number of recorded pneumonia cases. And with 9,000 kids dying from it every year in the country, pneumonia is considered the top killer of Filipino children.

This is what MOVE aims to change in its nationwide campaign against pneumonia. The groundbreaking project calls on local government units, celebrities, and other Filipinos to step up against pneumonia through the biggest dance revolution the country has ever seen. With the support and help of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a company that also support global pneumonia initiatives, MOVE aims to spread awareness about this disease and about the only surefire way to prevent it—though vaccination.

Powerful steps against pneumonia

MOVE is the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health (UP-NIH)’s unique way of celebrating World Pneumonia Day, a day wherein thousands of people from different  countries unite in the fight against pneumonia.

With the participation Las Piñas City Mayor Vergel Aguilar, different Local Government Units, representative from the Philippine medical sector, such as Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the National Institute of Health, Pinoy Big Brother housemate and dancer Mickey Perez, the revolutionary MOVE event see hundreds of participants stepping into their dancing shoes in three different key cities in Metro Manila. For each attendee and participant of MOVE , a pneumococcal disease vaccine will be donated to ensure a pneumonia-free future for Filipino child.

Though MOVE, Filipino children, such as the orphans from CRIBS. And indigent children from Muntinlupa and other areas able to receive vaccines against this deadly disease,

Dr. Lulu Bravo welcome 413 participants to the groundbreaking event (November 17, 2010) by sharing her insights and her passion for the advocacy of MOVE and to inspire everyone to become more involved in the fight against pneumonia.

According to Dr. Sally Gatchalian, Medial Affairs Director of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) support NIH in assisting LGUs in implementing a vaccination program against pneumonia, “98% of children who die from pneumonia live in developing countries such as the Philippines Vaccines can protect children from pneumonia and prevent needles suffering and death GSK is commited to fight childhood pneumonia and is researching ways to prevent the disease”

The silent killer

Most people might think that pneumonia isn’t a serious threat to live, since it isa a rather “old” disease. But statistics from the World Health Organization reveal that infections caused by the Streptococcus pneumonia bacterium are the leading causes of deaths of children all over the world, with more than one million dying from pneumonia meningitis and pneumonia every year. This bacterium does not only cause death, it can also cause hearing impairment and development problems in children

In the Philippines, reports from the Department of Health state that pneumonia is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in children five years old and below. Statistics gathered in 2008 showed that 13,545 children aged I month to less than 5 years died of pneumonia in that year alone, accounting for 34% of deaths in Filipino children in that age range. This means approximately 37 young children die daily due to pneumonia in the Philippines

And, although antibiotics, good nutrition, and good hygiene can help prevent pneumonia, this isn’t a guarantee of life—especially for the young and the elderly. The best possible protection, is prevention, and this is what the Department of Health (DoH and the UP-NIH with GlaxoSmithKline advocate, with programs like Move: awareness, the giving of information, and instructing each Filipino family about pneumonia and how to prevent it. Johnny F. Arasga/Photo By: Sam Lebradoressa

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