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I.

INTRODUCTION
Pneumonia is the single leading cause of mortality in children under five and is a major

cause of child mortality in every region of the world.


Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI) that affects the lungs.
When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli in the lungs are filled with pus and fluid, which
makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake. Pneumonia has many possible causes, but the
most common are bacteria and viruses. The most common pathogens are Streptococcus
pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). S.
pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children under five years in the
developing world.4 The second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children is Hib,
followed by RSV - the most common cause of viral pneumonia in children under two years.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can make you very sick. You may cough, run a fever,
and have hard time breathing. For most people, pneumonia can be treated at home. It often
clears up in 2 to 3 weeks. But older adults, babies, and people with other diseases can become
very ill. They may need to be hospital.
You can get pneumonia in your daily life, such as at school or work. This is called
community- associated pneumonia. You can also get it when you are in a hospital or nursing
home. This is called healthcare-associated pneumonia. It may be more severe because you
already ill. This topic focuses on pneumonia you get in your daily life. Germs called bacteria or
viruses usually cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia usually starts when you breathe the germs into your lungs. You may be
more likely to get the disease after having a cold or the flu. These illnesses make it hard for your
lungs to fight infection, so it is easier to get pneumonia. Having a long-term, or chronic, disease

like asthma, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes also makes you more likely to get pneumonia. Risk
of pneumonia hospitalization was higher among subjects with a history of chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease and among men who were current smokers. Daily alcohol consumption did
not increased risk of pneumonia in the study population. Four measures of nutritional status were
examined taking age, prevalent chronic conditions, and cigarette smoking into account: body
mass index, arm muscle area, and serum albumin and hemoglobin levels. Risk of pneumonia
death was 2.6 times higher in men in the lowest quartile, compared with men in the highest
quartile, of body mass index. Similarly, the risk was 4.5 times higher among men in the lowest
quartile of arm muscle area. Risk of death from pneumonia was 3.6 times higher among men in
the lowest quartile. Relative risks for these nutritional status indicators remained elevated after
adjusting for age and the medical history risk factors. These risk factors should be taken into
account when designing and evaluating pneumonia vaccinations trials and community prevention
programs.
Children in low-income countries are nearly 18 times more likely to die before the age of
five than children in high-income countries due to pneumonia and other acute infections. As a
result, there is a considerable need for effective interventions in all parts of the world in order to
bring down mortality and morbidity rates due to pneumonia. Reducing child mortality is one of
the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and one way to reach this target is to reduce
pneumonia-related mortality by providing effective treatment promptly. Effective interventions
to reduce pneumonia deaths are available through vaccinations and antibiotics. However, access
to and information on antibiotic use is limited. In addition, only one in five caregivers know to
seek appropriate medical care immediately for children with signs of pneumonia. Currently,
rapid diagnostic devices that can be used at point of care are not available.

A healthy child has many natural defenses that protect its lungs from pneumonia.
Undernourished children, especially those who are not exclusively breastfed or with inadequate
zinc intake, are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia. Immunosuppressants due to other
coinfections are important risk factors in pneumonia-related mortality; infants, children, or the
elderly suffering from illnesses, such as AIDS, measles, or malaria are also more likely to
develop pneumonia. Additionally, environmental factors, such as crowded living conditions and
exposure to indoor air pollution may contribute to increasing childrens susceptibility to
pneumonia.