Udaipur : Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, on the occasion of World Pneumonia Day is reinforcing its efforts to help improve the diagnosis and prevention of childhood pneumonia in India. As a part of Philips’ CSR campaign, ‘#HarSaansMeinZindagi’ multiple efforts have been underway to support the reduction of cases of pneumonia in children under five years in India, focusing on awareness and on-ground activation. The company is also working on a two-year pilot project titled ‘VISHWAAS (Breath of Hope)’with Save the Children, a non-profit organisationwith an aim to develop and provide low-cost innovative approaches for social and behavioural change communication and management of Childhood Pneumonia cases.
Childhood Pneumonia continues to be a leading cause of mortality in under 5 children in India. Between April 2019- March 2020, 5,14,714 cases1 of pneumonia were reported in the country, whereas14,45,5871 children with an upper respiratory infectionwere admitted across health facilities. With the absence of awareness on the disease especially amongst the first responders/family and accessible quality treatments at both community and public health facility level, children from marginalised communities are the worst affected. The primary caregivers should be aware that the most common symptoms are coughing, trouble breathing and fever. To overcome the challenge posed by this disease, it is crucial to address the knowledge gap in childhood pneumonia.
Children with pneumonia usually experience fast breathing, therefore one of the important aspects of diagnosing pneumonia is monitoring a child’s breathing rate. Community health workers manually count through visual inspection, how many breaths a child takes in the span of one minute. For instance, a 5-month-old child who takes 50 breaths per minute would be breathing too fast and could have pneumonia2. The number of breaths for ‘fast breathing’ depends on the child’s age – younger children normally have higher rates of breathing than older children.
As a health technology company, Philips’ is committed to improve peoples’ lives through meaningful innovations. In line with this, the company is focused on increasing awareness of first responders like mother and other family members to notice the symptom/s and seek appropriate medical support, potentially preventing many of the incidents/cases caused by pneumonia each year in the country.