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Pfizer holds Pneumococcal Disease Expert Summit

Pfizer Pakistan Limited,24th April, 2015:Pfizer Pakistan conducted a large scale Pneumococcal Disease (PD) Expert Summit in order to create awareness about the disease burden and its prevention. The Summit aims to effectively communicate the latest developments in the prevention of pneumonia and it’s complicationsto the local healthcare professionalsby bringing together national experts from across the country. The summit turned out to be a precursor for the World Immunization Week, the global awareness event with the theme of ‘Closing the Immunization Gap’ which kicks off on April 24, 2015.

During the course of the Summit, it was highlighted that vaccination can be a safe and effective option to help prevent pneumonia and its complications. Also it is advisable for people who are planning to perform Haj or Umrah toget themselves vaccinated against pneumonia.

“Pneumonia is still a major public health issue for a country like Pakistan, for which the treatment is often costly and needlessly uncomfortable,”said Prof. Sajid Maqbool, one of the leadingconsultants of the country.

He further pointed out that “Vaccines are only considered essential in children, a mindset which needs to be changed. However it is a known fact that the disease like pneumonia is common in extremities of age, people who are less than 5 years or greater than 50 years of age are at increased risk of catching pneumonia. Especially people who are suffering from diabetes, asthma, chronic lungs, hearts and kidney disease can be a very easy victim of this disease”.

In the summit, a lot of emphasis was put on active adult immunization especially for high risk patients who fall prey to pneumonia and its complications. One of the leading pulmonologists of the country, Prof. Zafar Hussain Iqbal stressed that “Chronic respiratory diseases (COPD and asthma) affect millions of individuals worldwide and the global burden is projected to increase markedly. Such patients face an increased risk for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD)”.

World Immunization Week 2015 is celebrated around the world from April 24 to 30 and in its anticipation; the World Health Organization has called for renewed efforts to get progress back on course with routine immunization to reduce the disease burden of vaccine preventable diseases globally.

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