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NIH and PHAREX HealthCorp Team Up for StoPneumonia Campaign

PHAREX PR Department
August 28, 2009

Standing from left:  Mabea de Mesa-Mallari-Group, Product Manager – Pharex IDMG;
Dr. Soraya Abubakar-President, Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP);
Dr. May Book-Montillano, President – Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialists of the Philippines(PIDSP); Dr. Victor Doctor, President-Philippine Pediatric Society(PPS);
Dr. Amado Nazal, Medical Director – Pharex HealthCorp.
Seated from left:  Mr. Beau Agana,III, President and CEO – Pharex HealthCorp;
Dr. Orlino Talens – Vice Chancellor for Administration, UP Manila; and
Dr. Lulu C. Bravo – Vice Chancellor for Research, UP Manila-National Institutes of Health.

Recognizing the perils and impact of Pneumonia among young Filipino children, the National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines-Manila and PHAREX Health Corporation joined forces to launch StoPneumonia, a health awareness campaign that will involve public workshops and distribution of informative literature targeting mothers, caregivers, including health workers.

The StoPneumonia campaign aims to save
more Filipino children from Pneumonia,
the number one killer of young children
worldwide, with more victims than that of
AIDS, Malaria and Measles combined.

Pneumonia is the number one killer of young children worldwide, with victims much more than that of AIDS, Malaria and Measles combined. It claims the lives of over two million children every year according to the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund. The two organizations also reported that only about 1 out of 5 caregivers know the danger signs of Pneumonia and only about half of the children sick with this disease receive appropriate medical care.

The StoPneumonia campaign aims to save more Filipino children from falling prey to the disease by teaching the public how to recognize the critical symptoms of Pneumonia and stress on seeking immediate medical attention. Under the program, the National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines-Manila, led by its Executive Director Dr. Lulu Bravo, will be launching this public health awareness campaign to help in early recognition, prevention and treatment of Pneumonia among young Filipino children. To dovetail this effort, PHAREX HealthCorp. will be disseminating poster materials for healthcare workers and public health offices, lay information materials, and lecture slide or audio-visual presentations for caregivers.

Dr. Lulu Bravo
Executive Director
National Institutes of Health – UP Manila


Dr. Lulu Bravo explains "Pneumonia is a form of acute lower respiratory infection that affects the lungs. When a person is sick with Pneumonia, he or she has pus or fluid in one or both lungs, which interferes with oxygen absorption, making it difficult to breathe." She added that this disease usually starts with mild illnesses such as cough or common cold. For children however, infections that begin with mild symptoms may sometimes lead to more severe maladies like Pneumonia. Young children can die of this disease within 5 days, if left unchecked.

The StoPneumonia campaign emphasizes that it only takes less than a minute to save millions of children from Pneumonia. Parents are advised to follow three essential steps that could help reduce Pneumonia deaths among children. The first and most critical step is to recognize a sick child by paying close attention to the frequency of breathing. Since unusually rapid and labored breathing is a strong symptom of the disease, parents are advised to count the number of breath per minute to determine if the child has Pneumonia: 60 "breaths" for infants below two months; 50 for children below 1 year and 40 for those above 1 year old and up to 5 years old. If the child's breathing exceeds this critical number per minute, there is very high chance he is sick with pneumonia.

The second step is to immediately seek appropriate care, and third is to treat immediately with antibiotics. For Pneumonia cases caused by bacterial pathogens, early treatment backed by a full course of effective antibiotics could significantly lessen fatalities.

"Mother and caregivers play an important role in combating Pneumonia. We have to ensure that they know the danger signs of this disease so that they will be prompted to go to their doctor and treatment could be administered," said Dr. Bravo.

Tomas Marcelo Agana III
President and CEO
PHAREX HealthCorp

PHAREX HealthCorp. President and CEO Tomas Marcelo Agana III enjoins every Filipino to support the StoPneumonia campaign. "We can expect the rise of common illnesses during the rainy season and so now is the best time to educate mothers and caregivers. Though this program, we will be disseminating information on the prevention and treatment of pneumonia so that everyone could take immediate action when they see its early signs. Awareness and education are the best starting points for combating this killer disease." He said that PHAREX is pleased to work with the National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines-Manila on such significant cause. The endeavor reflects the company's commitment to champion healthcare, the community and the country.

Through the StoPneumonia campaign, the National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines-Manila and PHAREX HealthCorp. are rallying for public awareness and understanding of this disease so that more Filipino children can be spared from the claws of Pneumonia.

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