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Pfizer Pakistan Urges Heightened Awareness of Pneumonia

On World Pneumonia Day, Pfizer Pakistan Highlights Importance of Vaccination in Fighting Pneumococcal Pneumonia among Infants, Older Adults and High risk population


Karachi-Pakistan, November 12, 2013 – Today, on World Pneumonia Day, Pfizer encourages dialogue and prompt action on pneumococcal pneumonia prevention, a serious yet potentially preventable global health issue.

Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide.1 An estimated 100,000 children in Pakistan die due to pneumonia every year. However; this disease is not limited to infants and children. Pneumonia also impacts many adults, especially people over age 50 and those living with asthma, heart disease or another serious condition.2,3

While pneumonia is a significant public health burden, some pneumonias – including pneumococcal pneumonia – are potentially preventable. Vaccination is a key step to help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia, along with proper nutrition, good hygiene and improved environmental factors (such as air pollution).1

Pfizer Pakistan has worked since 2009 on campaigns in public interest for pneumonia awareness working diligently to deliver vaccines to children and adults vulnerable to pneumococcal disease. A number of pneumococcal vaccine donations were also made between 2010 and 2013 by Pfizer Pakistan to various NGOs.
A public service campaign is launched this year in leading newspapers and radio stations ahead of the World Pneumonia Day that aims at raising awareness in general public on the hazards of this potentially deadly disease.

Pfizer Pakistan has engaged in activities in schools across Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to raise awareness on the importance of pneumonia vaccinations. The company is also working with local healthcare professionals in advancing medical education and sharing the latest updates in this therapeutic area.
 
“Pneumonia and its related complications are a serious health issue in Pakistan claiming thousands of lives every year. We believe vaccinations play a critical role in preventing this deadly disease and we must continue to create awareness programs to help save lives of our people,” says Iqbal Bengali, Pfizer’s Country Manager. “We have created public service messages, worked with healthcare professionals on medical education and are introducing innovative programs to address the risk of this potentially deadly disease on World Pneumonia Day.”



References:
1.    World Health Organization. Pneumonia Fact Sheet. Updated April 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs331/en/index.html. Accessed on October 4, 2013.
2.    World Health Organization (WHO). Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals. Pneumoccocal Vaccines. April 2003. Available at http://www.who.int/vaccines/en/pneumococcus.shtml. Accessed August 26, 2011.
3.    World Health Organization (WHO). 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. WHO Position Paper. Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 2008;83(42):373-384.
4.    NIH. 2011. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pnu/types.html. Accessed June 17, 2013.
5.    Prevenar 13* Summary of Product Characteristics. http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Product_Info.... Accessed October 8, 2013.