Home Public Health World Pneumonia Day: Championing the Fight against Pneumonia!

World Pneumonia Day: Championing the Fight against Pneumonia!

by Public Health Update


World Pneumonia Day is marked every year on November 12th to raise awareness about pneumonia. It was established in 2009 to:

  • Raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under the age of five;
  • Promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia; and
  • Generate action to combat pneumonia.

Pneumonia is the single biggest infectious killer of adults and children – claiming the lives of 2.5 million, including 672,000 children, in 2019.

Deaths from COVID-19 will add two million more in 2020, bringing the total to more than four million. No other infection causes anywhere near this burden of death.


  • A child dies of pneumonia every 39 seconds.
  • Pneumonia kills more children than any other infectious disease, claiming the lives of over 800,000 children under five every year, or around 2,200 every day.
  • This includes over 153,000 newborns. Almost all of these deaths are preventable.
  • Globally, there are over 1,400 cases of pneumonia per 100,000 children, or 1 case per 71 children every year, with the greatest incidence occurring in South Asia (2,500 cases per 100,000 children) and West and Central Africa (1,620 cases per 100,000 children).

Data Source: UNICEF

World Pneumonia Day 2021

This year, World Pneumonia Day, on 12 November 2021, is held during COP 26 – the UN Climate Change Conference.

This is a critical moment to bring together the health, air quality and climate community to tackle the biggest infectious killer on the planet.

Air pollution is the leading risk factor for death from pneumonia across all age groups. Almost a third of all pneumonia deaths were attributable to polluted air, killing around 749,200 in 2019. Household air pollution contributed to 423,000 of these deaths while outdoor air pollution contributed to 326,000.

It is the very young and the very old who are at greatest risk. Children are more susceptible to household air pollution in homes that regularly use polluting fuels and technologies for cooking, heating and lighting. While outdoor air pollution, especially from pollutants emitted by industries and car exhaust smoke, disproportionately affects respiratory health among older adults.

Ninety percent of air pollution-related deaths are concentrated in 40 low- and middle-income countries. In many African countries, air pollution contributes to more than 50 percent of all pneumonia deaths. And while pneumonia deaths from household air pollution are declining in Africa, they are tragically increasing as a result of outdoor air pollution. This is also true for Asia.

The need for clean air action is clear. Reducing air pollution will deliver significant benefits to health and the environment.

This World Pneumonia Day, Every Breath Counts is calling on governments with heavy burdens of pneumonia and air pollution to commit to reducing air pollution-related pneumonia deaths by 50 percent by 2030.

Major actions

To end the preventable burden of pneumonia we must work together to:

  • Raise awareness about pneumonia, the leading killer of young children.
  • Strengthen, accelerate and sustain interventions to prevent and treat pneumonia.
  • Raise awareness about pneumonia, the leading killer of young children.
  • Strengthen, accelerate and sustain interventions to prevent and treat pneumonia.
  • Focus on equitable access to, and delivery of, comprehensive pneumonia prevention and control programmes.
  • Design strategies to reach vulnerable populations to improve their access to available interventions.

Source of info:

  • https://stoppneumonia.org/
  • https://www.apsresp.org/
  • https://www.worldpneumoniaday.org/

World Pneumonia days

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