Pneumonia Virus

The provincial health department of Sindh recorded the deaths of 7462 children owing to the deadly pneumonia virus. More than 27,136 children have been severely affected by the illness as well. These are alarming figures and it is concerning that such an epidemic has been gone unaddressed by the government for this long. One must question why a campaign has not been launched and why the lives of thousands of children were neglected.
Pneumonia is a virus that is easily preventable just as it is treatable, provided that the appropriate resources have been given to the public. For 90,000 children to die every single year from the disease is then preposterous, especially when 60 percent of the deaths are concentrated in rural areas. It signals to the fact that there is an extreme gap in the healthcare sector which has failed to tackle this underlying menace in the country.
The provision of competent medical services across the country should be a priority for the government given how concerning the matter is becoming. The mass availability of diagnostic facilities and treatment centres will ensure that no region is deprived of medical attention and that cases are dealt with immediately so that the lives of the children can be fought for.
At the same time, it is also especially pertinent to take preventative measures that nip the problem in the bud. Had these children been vaccinated against pneumonia, they would have been immunised and the probability of survival even in the case that they had contracted it would have been much higher. The Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) must embark upon a new drive that is as effective as its polio counterpart which involved the dispatch of 290,000 healthcare workers who went door-to-door to vaccinate 40 million children against the virus.
This shows that it is not beyond our capabilities to resolve the spread of pneumonia in the country but entails that as long as the matter is taken seriously, progress can ensue. Thus, all concerned authorities must act out of concern for countless other children who are extremely vulnerable to transmission and have little means to seek treatment on their own.