People dance because they are happy, so what better way to celebrate World Pneumonia Day than with dancing. Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) and the Dept. of Health (DOH) celebrated the 5th Annual Pneumonia Day through a celebratory dance event called the Fifth Birthday. Held November 8 at the Summit Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay, the event featured “The Dancing Asec” Dr. Eric Tayag, who led the doctors from the private and public sectors in a dance exercise which culminated with a ceremonial vaccination campaign conducted by no less than the DOH Asst. Secretary himself.
Five infants from Tagaytay city were given pneumococcal conjugate vaccines designed to protect them against the dreaded pneumonia disease and served as a symbolic celebration of the 5th birthday of Filipino children. Dr. Tayag, together with Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of PFV, and Dr. May Montelibano, President of PFV, led the birthday candle blowing ceremony.
The event was a call to action where support for local health care workers and solutions such as encouraging breastfeeding, education on sanitation practices, and good nutrition should be shared and encouraged to the public. Medical interventions such as immunizing babies as early as 6 weeks old with the pneuocccal conjugate vaccines have also been found crucial to preventing pneumonia deaths.
This disease, which is often triviallized as “just a fever” and left undiagnosed and untreated, is ranked as the number 1 killer of children under the age of 5.