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Times of India
12 November 2010
Jaipur, India

Feverish Pitch
Despite being curable, pneumonia causes nearly 19% casualties among children less than 5 years. Among infants, the disease causes 25% mortality. Treatment is available at government hospitals and is mostly free yet only 69% of those detected with the disease reach the health centres.

"Even as treatment is free at government hospitals its observed that only 19% of the patients are provided antibiotics," said Dr Manisha Chawla from Save The Children. She was speaking at a conference held at the health directorate on the eve of World Pneumonia Day.

Ignorance towards the available health facilities and malnutrition remain a major cause of the pneumonia deaths registered in the state. "Malnutrition is noticed among 44% newborn, however, the disease can be prevented and early diagnosis and proper treatment can help preventing casualties. The attendants of the children require to be educated over the issue" she added.

Across the country, nearly 4 lakh children die each year due to the disease and Rajasthan needs special focus as the state has a higher neonatal mortality rate as compared to the national average. In Rajasthan, among every thousand births, nearly 85 children die before they reach five years, of these 63 die during the first month. The national mortality rate among under 5 years children is registered 76 per thousand.

Also present on the occasion, state health department officials said that efforts are being made to increase awareness over the issue and extend the approach of basic healthcare in the rural areas. They also informed about the various health programs being held in the state.

World pneumonia Day : Awareness rally at Shahid Smarak.
November 12 is being observed as the world pneumonia day to generate public awareness. On the occasion a rally will be held from Shahid Smarak to Statue Circle on Friday morning. As part of the awareness campaign, on Children’s Day November 14 a thumb painting will be held at Ramnivas Bagh.

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