March 1, 2023


Pneumonia is a severe respiratory illness that kills over two million children under five years yearly. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), pneumonia is the most common cause of death among children under five globally, taking more lives than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. In response to this life-threatening disease’s ravaging effects on children worldwide, November 12th is marked as World Pneumonia Day. However, there are still many questions surrounding this global health day and the disease.

In this article, we will answer ten burning questions about World Pneumonia Day and raise awareness of this preventable disease’s significant impact while also proposing ways to survive it.

What is World Pneumonia Day?

World Pneumonia Day is an annual global health observance day created to raise awareness about the disease’s toll on the world’s population, especially children and the elderly. The day is celebrated every November 12th to educate people about the disease’s causes, symptoms, prevention strategies, and treatment options.

Why was November 12th chosen for World Pneumonia Day?

November 12th was chosen for World Pneumonia Day because it is the day when the first-ever World Pneumonia Summit was held in 2009. It serves as a reminder to the world’s citizens and governments that pneumonia is still a significant contributor to child and adult mortality rates, and more needs to be done to raise awareness and address the disease’s burden.

How is World Pneumonia Day celebrated?

World Pneumonia Day is marked by various activities that aim to raise awareness of the disease’s impact and promote strategies to prevent and control it. Activities can range from rallies and marches to media campaigns, social media advocacy, educational events, training, and health camps that offer free diagnosis of the disease. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and healthcare providers often organize such programmes and activities.

What is the theme of World Pneumonia Day 2021?

The World Pneumonia Day 2021 theme is “No More Excuses – Stop Pneumonia Now.” It is a call to action for all sectors globally to work together to stop pneumonia deaths. The focus is on enhancing access to existing vaccines, developing new and more effective vaccines, and improving antibiotic access for all.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

Pneumonia symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the type of bacteria, virus or fungus causing the disease and an individual’s health status. Common symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, sweating, chest pain, fatigue, and loss of appetite.

Who is most at risk of pneumonia?

Anyone can get pneumonia, but certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others. These include young children and infants under five years old, the elderly, pregnant women, people with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, people with weakened immune systems, and those living in overcrowded or unsanitary conditions.

What are the treatment options for pneumonia?

The treatment options for pneumonia vary depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the infection. Most cases of pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, rest, and fluids. If the individual is having difficulty breathing or other severe symptoms, hospitalization might be necessary. Depending on the person’s age and general health, there may be additional options for treatment.

How can pneumonia be prevented?

Pneumonia can be prevented through several strategies, including vaccination, proper hand hygiene, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding risk factors such as smoking and exposure to air pollution or chemicals.

What is the burden of pneumonia on global health?

Pneumonia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. According to the WHO, pneumonia kills around 2 million children under five years old every year, accounting for 15% of all deaths in this age group. Adults, particularly older adults, are also at risk of experiencing severe health outcomes and death due to pneumonia.


Pneumonia is one of the most concerning respiratory illnesses responsible for causing deaths globally. Despite being preventable, pneumonia consistently takes a heavy toll on young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. World Pneumonia Day presents an opportunity to raise awareness about pneumonia’s impact and the need for effective prevention and treatment strategies. Understanding the disease’s symptoms, risk factors, treatment options, and prevention measures can help individuals take action to protect themselves and their communities.


Q1. What are the different types of pneumonia?

There are several types of pneumonia, including bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia, fungal pneumonia, aspiration pneumonia, and mycoplasma pneumonia. The type of pneumonia often depends on the individual’s age, underlying health conditions, and the microorganism that caused the infection.

Q2. Can pneumonia be caused by pollution or allergies?

Yes, pneumonia can be caused by air pollution and exposure to certain allergens such as dust, pollen, or animal dander. These pollutants and allergens can irritate the lungs and increase a person’s risk of developing pneumonia.

Q3. What are the signs that pneumonia is getting worse?

Signs that pneumonia may be getting worse include a persistent cough that worsens, shortness of breath, a high fever that doesn’t respond to medication, fatigue, chest pain, and confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Q4. Is pneumonia contagious?

Yes, pneumonia can be contagious, depending on the cause of the infection. For example, bacterial and viral pneumonia can be spread from person to person through close contact, coughing, or sneezing.

Q5. How can I support World Pneumonia Day?

You can support World Pneumonia Day by participating in the activities and events organized by your local community and healthcare providers, sharing information about the disease on social media, and advocating for increased funding and resources towards pneumonia diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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