A child plays with her little sister at a playground in Kampung Akuarium, Penjaringan, North Jakarta on Oct. 9, 2020. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Save the Children Raises Awareness of “Silent Killer” Pneumonia

BY :SHANNON CHAI TJOKRORAHARDJO

JULY 19, 2021

Jakarta. Save the Children, an independent children rights organization, is raising awareness of the dangers of the “silent killer” pneumonia in children, while also bringing Indonesia’s attention to the importance of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or PCV.

Back in 2019, Save the Children launched an integrated campaign called “Stop Pneumonia”. 

The campaign targets the awareness to change management of pneumonia in children in a larger community, reach out to stakeholders and related authorities, social mobilization, and hold parenting campaigns to establish the role of fathers in a family. 

Save the Children is also working alongside the Health Ministry, Women’s Empowerment and Children Protection Ministry, and pharmaceutical firm Pfizer. They are calling for parents and stakeholders to support PCV immunization to protect children from pneumonia.

“An effort is by increasing awareness on the importance of complete immunization as it is a form of health and survival in the lives of children – as it is a basic human right,” Save the Children Indonesia chief executive officer Selina Sumbung said in a recent statement.

“We hope that the rate of pneumonia, ‘the silent killer’, in children will decline in the future,” she said.

This year, Save the Children alongside Pfizer are ramping up their online campaigns on PCV vaccination, even releasing a song titled “Stop Pneumonia”. It earned an Indonesian Museum of Records (Muri) record for being the first song on pneumonia in the country. 

Save the Children even collaborated with art community Saung Angklung Udjo to perform the song. 

According to 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) data, Indonesia is ranked seventh among the countries with the highest pneumonia rate. 

In Indonesia, 25,481 or 17 percent of infant mortality is caused by respiratory infections and diseases. Pneumonia is also the second-leading cause of death for children after preterm births, with a prevalence of 15 percent.

Among pneumonia causes include incomplete exclusive breastfeeding (54 percent), low birth weight (10.2%), incomplete immunization (42.1 percent), closed spaces with poor air quality and overcrowded house. In 2018, 19,000 (16 percent) or two toddlers died every hour due to pneumonia.

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