Pneumonia still a major cause of mortality in Indian children

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Pneumonia still a major cause of mortality in Indian children

Many children lack access to the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

New Delhi, 30 November 2017: About 20 children die every hour due to pneumonia in India, reveal recent statistics. Despite efforts being made toward universal immunization, more than 25 million children in India were not immunized with Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) in 2016.Pneumonia claims more lives in children around the world than any other infectious disease. A majority of those who die are from low and middle-income countries. If this continues, the disease is likely to claim 22,587 lives 2030.

Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection which affects the lungs. It causes difficulty in breathing and limits oxygen intake. It can be caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses and is a contagious disease.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Pneumonia in India in children under five is caused by malnutrition, low birth weight, non-exclusive breastfeeding, lack of measles immunization, indoor air pollution and overcrowding. When the germs reach the lungs, the lungs become inflamed and fill up with fluid. This causes breathing difficulties, which makes it difficult for enough oxygen to enter the bloodstream. The body’s cells can’t function as they normally would, and infection can’t be flushed from the body. If untreated, the infection may continue to spread, leading to death. Certain children whose immune defenses or lungs are weakened by other illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis, abnormalities in the immune system or cancer (as well as by the chemotherapy used to treat cancer), may be more likely to develop pneumonia. Children whose airways or lungs are abnormal in other ways may have a higher risk.”

Pneumonia usually produces a fever, which in turn may cause sweating, chills, flushed skin, and general discomfort. Children can lose their appetite and seem less energetic than normal. Babies and toddlers may seem pale and limp, and cry more than usual.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics. A large majority of the cases can be tackled at home itself. Hospitalization is recommended only in very severe cases. Pneumonia is not contagious, but the upper respiratory viruses and bacteria that lead to it are. It is a good idea to keep kids away from anyone with stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, or respiratory infection in general”.

Here are some tips to prevent pneumonia in children.

  • Breastfeed regularly as it is a great way to boost immunity.
  • Wash hands frequently with alcohol based sanitizer every time you blow your nose, use bathroom and before eating and preparation of food.
  • Children younger than 5 should be vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia a common form of bacterial pneumonia.
  • Keep children away from people suffering from colds, flu or other respiratory infections. This greatly increases their risk of catching an infection.

Straight from the heart: IMA Road Map

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The main objective of IMA is to provide affordable available accessible and accountable quality and safe health care to the public through its members in a stress free environment. IMA works hand in hand with the central and state governments to achieve its objectives via profession and community friendly policies. One of the objectives of IMA is to concentrate on primary preventive and primordial care. In this regard IMA has launched many campaigns like Sun to Lo Dekh to lo Koi Dekh to Nahi Raha Koi Sun to Nahi Raha Baar Baar Pucho Puchna Mat Bhulo Woh to Theek Hai par Mara Kyon Woh to Theek Hai par Heart Attack Hua Kyon Katwayega to Nahi among others. IMA is also incorporating social determinants of health in providing medical care. IMA Project Jiska Koi Nahi Uska IMA provides avenues to patients from every segment of the society in getting cost effective treatment within their reach and within the same environment where he she is residing. IMA has helped achieve millennium development goals and now is committed to achieve sustainable development goals. IMA Road Map IMA believes in patient centric medicine where the treatment plan is adjusted to the needs of the patient on case to case basis. IMA is fighting with government for one price one drug one company policy so that cost of 80 of medicine can be reduced. Today 80 cost of health care is on medicines and investigations. IMA policy is to prescribe NLEM drugs and when writing non NLEM drugs to take consent from the patient. IMA members are implementing all national health programs. But for the same government should hire every general practitioner on retainership basis. IMA wants 100 PG seats so that every doctor who does MBBS is ensured a PG Seat and those seats where Indian doctors opt out can be allotted to foreigners. Most of the new PG seats should be in Family Medicine. IMA is for providing all emergent services to people which is the mandate of state government who is not able to provide it. Hence this should be reimbursed by state governments. IMA is not against accountability but is against the people taking law in their hands. IMA wants single window accountability for the same. IMA also want Single Window Registration for any health care facility. IMA also wants Single Registration for doctors so that they can practice in any state in the country. Medical profession is not a business and all doctors provide reasonable subsidy to their patients for which they are entitled to non commercial rates for water electric property and and other amenities. IMA respects Ayush doctors and the government should let them excel in their own field and not diversify into the modern system of medicine. IMA believes in the concept of equity equality and justice. To this end IMA wants uniform age of retirement uniform pay scale uniform infrastructure uniform hours of duty etc. IMA is for bringing preventable deaths to zero. Preventable deaths should be unacceptable. To achieve this IMA recommends auditing every preventable death to find what went wrong so that another such death can be prevented by timely action. IMA wants professional autonomy and for the doctors to be able to decide their drug investigation and line of management based on patient centric medicine. IMA is for competence based training and not theoretical based training. IMA is against repeated multiple theoretical exams for doctors to test their updated knowledge status. IMA wants all doctors to use petrol cars car pool grow grass in muddy areas plant trees and promote walking as their contributions in efforts to reduce air pollution. All IMA CMEs should be noise free with noise levels between 45 50 dB. The average life span of doctors is 10 13 years shorter than non doctors. IMA recommends all doctors to have their annual check up done and get 100 vaccinated. The cost of intensive care is beyond reach of a common man. It s the state government mandate to provide free emergency care. If they cannot ICU establishment costs should be subsidized by the government. All IMA CMEs should have a slide each on pharmacovigilance bioethics and AMR. IMA policy is to spend time on informing patient about the cost of treatment. The cost variation should not be more than 10 . IMA policy is to promote GTN in TB GeneXpert test trace every contact and notify TB . Even the dead have a right to dignity. All dead bodies whether in the dissection hall or in the hospital settings must be respected To build credibility all doctors should explain the reason if they are referring a patient to a specific lab imaging center pharmacy or a hospital.

Majority of Indians are unaware of adult vaccinations

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Majority of Indians are unaware of adult vaccinations

The need for vaccination does not end when one becomes an adult

New Delhi, 29 November 2017: As if the fact that the health of India’s citizens is marred by various health conditions was not enough, a recent study has indicated that about 68% of the country’s adults are unaware of adult vaccinations. While a majority of those surveyed thought that vaccinations were only for children, others felt they were healthy and did not require any vaccination. As per the IMA, the need for immunization does not end when one becomes an adult. Protection from vaccines received as a child can wear off over time, and leave a person at risk for new and different diseases.

Adult vaccines are recommended based on many factors. They can help avert and reduce the health consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases among adults. Incomplete and inadequate immunization against many communicable diseases can lead to substantial and unnecessary costs in terms of hospitalization and treatment.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Just like healthy eating, physical activity, and regular check-ups, vaccines also have a very important role in keeping a person healthy, through their adult years as well. Vaccines are one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available. Urban lifestyle today includes unhealthy eating, untimely sleeping patterns, erratic work hours, and frequent travels. This has reduced our immunity and made us more susceptible to any disease. We stay at a different place, work at another, and then enjoy visiting a distant location. Coming across different people from different regions, we become prone to any communicable disease. Medical science advanced and there are new, improved facilities and treatments available for many health conditions. During our childhood, there were many diseases without vaccines. Those vaccines are possible now.”

The Indian government has been taking steps towards adult immunization. In 1985, a universal immunization programme was launched across the country to combat Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, and measles.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “All adults over 50 years need to maintain protection against conditions such as seasonal influenza (Flu); pneumococcal disease (pneumonia, sepsis, meningitis); Hepatitis B infection (for adults who have diabetes or are at risk for hepatitis B); tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (for all adults who have not previously received this); and shingles (for adults 60 years and older).”

Following are some quick facts about adult immunization.

  • Immunization saves 3 million lives every year
  • Except drinking water, no other human undertaking can equal the impact immunization has had in reducing infectious diseases mortality — not even antibiotics
  • Immunization reduces mortality, morbidity, reduces direct and indirect medical cost
  • Flu vaccine has led to a 70% decline in hospitalizations
  • Hepatitis B vaccines have caused a drop in the incidence of liver cancer

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