Skip directly to content

World Pneumonia Day 2015: Pfizer Encourages Public to Learn the What, Why, Who and How of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Pfizer Pakistan Ltd. November 12, 2015:  This year, November 12, 2015 – This World Pneumonia Day, Pfizer is partnering with the Global Coalition on Aging to raise awareness of pneumococcal pneumonia: what it is, why it is important, who is at risk and how to help prevent this disease. Pneumonia, which includes pneumococcal pneumonia, is a prominent cause of death throughout the world,  and while it is the largest single cause of death in children worldwide,  it’s not just children who are at risk: older adults also face increased risk of infection due to age-related decline of the immune system.

Pneumonia is a common form of pneumococcal disease, which refers to a group of illnesses caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae,  and is the most common bacterial cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).  Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious infection, with symptoms including cough, fever, shaking chills and difficulty breathing.

“Pneumonia can be more than just a cough; it can have life-long effects on the individual,” said Dr. Farid Khan, Country Manager, Pfizer Pakistan. “Pfizer urges individuals to speak with their physicians to understand ways to minimize their risk and whether vaccination may be appropriate.”

While a person’s age can be a risk factor, particularly those age 65 and older and those age two and under , other conditions and factors can also increase their risk for pneumococcal disease. These can include having chronic lung or heart disease, diabetes, having a weak or suppressed immune system, being undernourished, or lifestyle choices such as smoking cigarettes or abusing alcohol.

Pakistan has one of the highest burdens of pneumococcal diseases in children and pneumonia is often referred to as the leading killer of children under the age of 5. According to a report released by the Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia last year, 71,000 children die of pneumonia every year in Pakistan. This puts Pakistan as the third highest disease burden country after India and Nigeria. A large population is also at risk of community acquired pneumonia.
Vaccines are available for long term protection against this deadly disease and the recently issued Guidelines on Management of Infectious Diseases recommend active immunization in both adults and children in Pakistan. Many healthcare professionals recognize vaccination as a method to help protect against pneumococcal pneumonia – one of the more common types of pneumonia.

Pfizer Pakistan is committed towards raising awareness of pneumonia, promote prevention and treatment and generate action to fight the illness. It supports all efforts made to protect and treat people against this disease.

Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world™

Pfizer has been working for the health and wellbeing of patients in Pakistan for more than 50 years. Our business in Pakistan is part of the global Pfizer Inc. operations, first founded in 1849 in New York, USA. At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our operations in Pakistan, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.pk

 

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Media centre: The top 10 causes of death. Fact sheet N°310.Updated May 2014. Available at: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/. Accessed August 27, 2015.
  2. World Health Organization.Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.Available at http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/news_events/news/2011/pneumonia/en/. Accessed August 31, 2015
  3.  Weinberger B, Herndler-Brandstetter D, Schwanninger A, et al. Biology of immune responses to vaccines in elderly persons. Clin Infect Dis. 2008;46:1078.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Pneumococcal disease.CDC Pink Book. 2011;16:233-248.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumonia can be prevented - vaccines can help. http://www.cdc.gov/features/pneumonia/. Accessed January 23, 2013.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Pneumococcal disease.Symptoms & complications. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/symptoms-complications.html .Accessed July 24, 2014.
  7. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Bacterial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal disease.Risk factors and transmission. Page last reviewed: June 6, 2013. Page last updated: June 6, 2013. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/risk-transmission.html. Accessed September 25, 2014.
  8. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Who Is at Risk for Pneumonia? Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pnu/atrisk. Updated March 1, 2011.Accessed August 10, 2015.