12 Nov Partner Highlight: World Pneumonia Day in Bangladesh
by Taskin Rahman
For six months now, we’ve been visiting schools across Bangladesh to talk about pneumonia as part of Save the Children’s EVERY ONE campaign. We’ve been to schools in the middle of bustling Dhaka, schools surrounded by rice paddy fields and schools nestled among hilly tea plantations.
The common denominator in all these schools is Pneumonia – nearly every classroom has one or two children who’ve suffered from the disease. The sad thing is that for every child who had pneumonia and recovered, two other children probably never got the proper treatment. Only 37 per cent of children with suspected pneumonia make it to an appropriate healthcare provider in Bangladesh.
Our school visits aim to change that statistic through building awareness and empowering children to take important pneumonia messages to their family members and the broader community. Through the visits, we’ve directly reached more than 14,000 students with messages about preventing pneumonia, recognizing symptoms and treating the disease. This World Pneumonia Day is the time for our 14,000 to pass the lessons on.
Students that we reached through school visits are about to reach out to their own communities and to national policymakers. Twenty-five of the schools we have visited will be raising awareness in their own communities with our support. Some will hold rallies, form human chains, put on dramas and others will hold discussions.
Another 25 representatives from the schools we visited, who have been affected by pneumonia in some way, will attend a national event in Dhaka, where they will get to share their views and experiences with the Health Minister, the Bangladesh Pediatrics Association President and other high profile child-health specialists.
On the national and the local level, these children will be the voices and faces of pneumonia. We hope they will continue to share the pneumonia message for many years to come.
Click here to read more about Save the Children’s World Pneumonia Day events in Bangladesh.
Taskin Rahman is a Campaign Officer at Save the Children Bangladesh. Photo by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC).