I was vaccinated when I was kid. I don’t know what vaccines were administered, but now that I am a mom to Zeeka, I had to research and know what vaccines I wanted to give her. Zeeka’s pedia research and let her know what I wanted heinstructed me to research and then to tell her what vaccines I wanted her to administer.
I had Zeeka vaccinated for Hepatitis B, DTP (Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis), Polio, Influenza Type B, MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), Rotavirus and Pneumococcal. Yes, Zeeka had all those. I’m a bit “praning” (scared) when it comes to diseases. I guess this is also what made me exclusively breastfeed Zeeka up until today. Breastfeeding protects and strengthens the body’s immune system.
I attended an event which was for a Pneumococcal and Rotavirus Disease Awareness Campaign. I got to learn more about the causes and effects of pneumonia and diarrhea. Going there, I actually thought no one really died from these diseases right (especially diarrhea). It sounded so common and I have never heard of any baby who died from these diseases, BUT…
Do you know that PNEUMONIA AND DIARRHEA are the top two leading causes of death among Filipino children less than 5 years of age? Scary right? And this fact is also true worldwide!
National statistics show an estimated 37 Filipino children die of pneumonia every day. To understand this disease better, Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung which affects primarily the microscopic air sacs known as alveoli. The typical symptoms of pneumonia include a cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by the bacterium S. Pneumoniae also known as pneumococcus which can result to life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia. It can also result to Acute Otitis Media (AOM) which is an ear infection, a common and highly prevalent disease. It also includes severe diseases such as meningitis, complicated pneumonia, and sepsis (blood poisoning), which occur when the pneumococcus “invades” the blood. The invasive forms of the pneumococcal disease are a category called Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD).
Diarrhea on the other hand is the second leading killer of children under 5 years of age, accounting for 1.4 million child deaths annually. Rotavirus Gastroenteritis (RVGE) is the common cause of diarrhea and severe dehydration in young children. It is also the leading reason of diarrheal hospitalizations and deaths among children. It is most severe and frequent in infants aged 3-24 months.
I learned during the event that Rotavirus is called a “democratic virus” because it can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, status in society.
Well, as always, they say that prevention is better than cure. The sad thing is that not everyone knows that these two diseases can be that deadly. I, for one, didn’t know that it was that serious. When I heard about this, I was actually glad that I had Zeeka vaccinated for these two diseases.
“It’s the best time to raise awareness on pneumonia and diarrhea prevention. These diseases should not cause unnecessary suffering to young children,” says Dr. Sally Gatchalian, Philippine Foundation for Vaccination Director. “Sometimes it’s just that parents don’t know enough about these diseases, and they don’t know that there are actually vaccines for them.”
Dr. Sally Gatchilian was the speaker during the launch of the the “No Hope Lost” campaign from GlaxoSmithKline. The campaign is really a call to action for parents to get their children vaccinated against pneumonia and diarrhea. This is to save them from getting these diseases.
“With the help of our dear pediatricians, and the Department of Health, we are committed to the reduction of pneumonia and diarrhea cases nationwide by supplying high quality vaccines. These diseases account for an alarming almost 50 mortalities per day in the Philippines. GSK is here to support the Filipino medical community and the government’s drive to make health services accessible to everyone,” added Philip Cruz, GSK Medical Director.
So, please do ask your pediatrician about preventive measures against pneumococcal and rotavirus diseases and do your research about these diseases and how to prevent them.