The PneumoLight campaign, in collaboration with Pfizer – and coinciding with World Pneumonia Day – will see 232 buildings and monuments from 48 different countries will be illuminated in blue.
The project involves Dr. Catia Cilloniz, a researcher at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, the University of Barcelona (UB), the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGLOBAL), the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), and the Spanish Society for Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), among others.
As part of the campaign, there will be a global conference promoted by the Hospital Clínic, which features leading experts in pneumonia research. The conference can be accessed here.
“The misperceptions about pneumonia are alarming. Society knows little about this disease, and even less about its impact on general health, and there is a widespread belief that pneumonia affects only specific subgroups of susceptible people”, says Dr Cilloniz. “It is important that researchers share their knowledge and advances in this area using an informative approach so that the society is aware of the public health problem posed by pneumonia,” she said.
Pneumonia is the single biggest infectious killer of adults and children – claiming the lives of 2.5 million, including 672,000 children, in 2019. This year World Pneumonia Day will be held during a global pandemic that is dramatically increasing pneumonia from COVID-19 and other causes. COVID-19 could add 1.9 million to the death toll this year. This could increase ‘all-cause’ pneumonia deaths by more than 75%. No other infection causes this burden of death. Disruptions to healthcare services are estimated to cause up to an additional 2.3 million child deaths – 35% from pneumonia and newborn sepsis.
Although pneumonia is a high incidence disease known to the public, the risk of contracting it is often ignored. Children under 5 years old, people over 60-65 years old and those who previously had chronic pathologies such as diabetes, heart failure, lung disease, are at greatest risk.
Image credit: CDC