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Pneumonia: One of the World’s Most Solvable Problems

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Health—Have you or your children ever had pneumonia? Have you felt the sensation of not being able to breathe?

I have had pneumonia. Twice. And both times, I thought I was going to die. I may be exaggerating a little bit, but there is something about struggling to breathe that gives you that sensation and it's downright frightening.

Fortunately, neither of my children have had any respiratory challenges. But as a mom, I can only image if they did and the helplessness that I'd feel if I were to watch them struggle to breathe without being able to do anything for them.

But the reality for me is that even if they did, I could wrap them in a blanket and rush them to the doctor just like my husband did for me. And there, I'd hope they'd get a shot and an inhaler to make their lungs open up and their breathing get back to normal. (Yes! This is a pic from the doctor's office right before I went back for my chest X-Ray. Embarrassing!)

Why We Need to Raise Awareness to Provide Aid for Pneumonia

But this is not the reality for all mothers around the world. The reality is that more than 1.5 million children die from pneumonia each year?

The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia shares the fact that every 20 seconds, pneumonia kills another child. That’s 4,300 child deaths every day, and a staggering 1+ million child deaths every year from a preventable, treatable disease.

Yes! You read that right. Pneumonia is preventable. It's treatable. It is one of the world's most solvable problems. Yet without funding and action, it is unnecessarily taking the lives of more than a million children.

What You Can Do to Help Save Children Suffering From Pneumonia

Today is World Pneumonia Day. The Global Coaltion of Child Pneumonia has a phenomenal website with a virtual toolkit. You can help in many ways. Here's a few ideas:

  • For moms in social media: Promote via social media, including Twitter (using the hashtag #WPD2011), Facebook, Google+, your blog/website. The virtual toolkit provides twibbons for your Twitter avatars, buttons and badges for your blog, and lots of infographics and content for your blog.
  • For all moms: Write a letter to your elected officials, encouraging them to support foreign aid. Lobby. Sign petitions. Send emails to your friends or share the importance of supporting this cause to friends in your neighborhood, community, or mom groups.
  • For moms who want to take action: Host an event. The virtual toolkit provides ideas, steps, and even posters to get you started.


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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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