Mortality rate all time high: Doctor

MAJID NABI. Dated: 11/12/2017 1:54:12 PM

SRINAGAR, Nov 11: Since ‘World Pneumonia Day’ is celebrated world over on November 12 to spread consciousness among people, the idea about this deadly disease which is no less ‘fatal’ than H1N1 influenza is altogether different in Kashmir valley.
In a shocking revelation, Dr Parvaiz Koul, Professor and Head of Department of Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) in an exclusive interview with Kashmir Times on World Pneumonia Day said that besides treatment, awareness among people is important to prevent themselves from getting infected as the mortality rate of Pneumonia has been all time high.
“This is called Lower Respiratory Tract Infection (LRTI) which involves lungs of a children and elderly persons, the major causes due to which Pneumonia spreads is bacterial infection also known as pneumomycosis (fungus disease of the lungs). The mortality rate of Pneumonia has been all time high with recorded death of one child below 5 years per two minutes,” said Dr Kaul.
Owing to three decades of turmoil in the restive province, people often take pneumonia as normal and as routine as flu which signifies the ignorance of people and inept approach of authorities in making them aware about the eventual outcome of deadly Pneumonia.
Responding to a query as to what is the basic cause of Pneumonia, Dr Kaul said that it is caused by bacterial infection or pneumomycosis any infection of the lungs caused by fungi, such as aspergillosis.
“Diseases of a respiratory organs are caused by pathogenic fungi. On localization of pathological process, a fungal infection of pulmonary fabric (actually a pneumomycosis), tracheas (tracheomycosis) and bronchial tubes (bronchomycosis) is distinguished.”
Dr Kaul said that fever, pain, unconsciousness and breathlessness are focal symptoms of Pneumonia which usually engages children less than five years of age and older adults.
“The average rate of pneumonia patients being admitted in hospitals is 4, 40,000 per year. Maintaining social distance like washing hands time to time is part of precaution and people diagnosed with pneumonia, instead of waiting, should immediately consult the doctor before it is too late”
He said medication to treat pneumonia is easily available in all hospitals. However, some of the major drugs that one essentially needs is the Pneumococcal Injection which too is available in the market at high cost.
He said government of India launches Universal Immunization and four new vaccines have been introduced in the country’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), including injectable polio vaccine, an adult vaccine and Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine.
He, however, said that the medicine (injection) was not rolled on generalised manner so that the people avail the opportunity to get them treated beforehand.
“Pneumonia should not be allowed to take as many lives as it does, because we now have vacancies that can help protest millions of children and adults from this life threatening disease. The Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that causes “pneumococcal pneumonia” are responsible for about 1/3rd of all pneumonia deaths among children, globally in India.”
He said that as per the study published in the year 2105, there were an estimated 564,200 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia episodes in children under five years in India and 3,800 in Jammu and Kashmir.
“As per data from our own hospital, about 225 adult patients hospitalised for pneumonia show that streptococcus pneumonia is responsible for about 30.5 percent cases. Many lives can now be saved through the administration of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine,” he said.
Commenting on the need for stronger preventive action in India’s fight against pneumonia, Dr Kaul said “with the recent inclusion of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in India’s Universal Immunization Program (UIP), we hope we can reduce the number of deaths from pneumonia in both children under five years and the elderly,” said Dr Kaul.
He suggested parents to vaccinate their children and elderly people at home against pneumonia which is as deadly as Swine Flu.
“CDC recommends Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine for all babies and children less than two years and all adults 65 years or older. Pneumococcal Polysaccharide vaccine is recommended for all adults of 65 years or older. People 2 through 64 years of age or old who are at increased risk for the disease due to certain medical conditions like diabetes, HIV, Chronic Lung Disease, heart and liver diseases, those with cochlear implants etc, and adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes. However, Geriatric Society of India recommends vaccination of all beyond 50 years of age,” said Dr Parvaiz Kaul.



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