The recent increase in pneumonia cases highlights the need for more focus on preventing and treating the disease said experts today at a press briefing. The change of season has prompted many hospitals to report an increase in the number of pneumonia cases and an increased demand on services.
Secretary General of the Bangladesh Pediatric Association (BPA) Dr Mesbah Uddin gave an overview of the current situation at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.
“Whilst it is normal to see an increase in pneumonia cases over the winter, some hospitals have been reporting a higher number of pneumonia cases than in previous years. The demand on services is very high,” he said.
“Approximately twenty to thirty per cent of patients at medical colleges in Rangpur, Dinajpur, Rajshahi and Barisal are being treated for bronchiolitis and pneumonia.”
“In Nilpamary, 80 patients have been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia or bronchiolitis. One pediatrician is treating them all and attending the outpatient department as well. This situation is similar in Gaibandha and Kurigram district hospitals,” he concluded.
The increase comes just two weeks before World Pneumonia Day on 12 November, an annual focal point for pneumonia advocacy.
Save the Children Director of Health and Nutrition Michael Foley said World Pneumonia Day is a perfect opportunity to focus attention on pneumonia, what it costs the community and how to better prevent and treat the disease.
“Pneumonia is known as the ‘silent killer’ because many people don’t know it kills more children than any other disease in Bangladesh. Every year, more than 25,000 children die from pneumonia.” “These statistics and the recent increased demand on hospitals prove that pneumonia is a major health issue in Bangladesh and it deserves more attention from the media, government, community and non-government organizations,” he concluded.
Research shows that the number of child pneumonia deaths can be reduced through exclusive breastfeeding, improved nutrition, vaccinations, early detection and access to proper treatment.
Other experts at the press briefing included Prof. Dr. Md Ruhul Amin, Professor of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Prof. Mohammed Hanif, President of Bangladesh Pediatric Association and Executive Committee Member, Child Health Research Foundation. The program was jointly organized by Save the Children, Poriprekkhit, Bangladesh Pediatric Association and Child Health Research Foundation. Poriprekkhit Executive Director Borhan Kabir moderated the conference.
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