Educate: Young Children Are Most Vulnerable


PHILIPPINES


Dra. Lulu Bravo, Pediatrician, President at Immunization Partners in Asia Pacific, Executive Director at Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, Professor of Pediatrics at University of the Philippines Manila (Professor Emeritus)


I’ve seen it happen many times. It gets frustrating when mothers bring their sick children having great difficulty breathing or nangingitim na (with a dark discoloration already). I’ve been a pediatrician for 43 years. And I’m still looking at this kind of patients. And the worst pneumonias are always seen at Philippine General Hospital (government hospital) because they’re the most complicated ones.

I’ve seen children who’ve died just minutes upon arriving in the hospital. At that point, I can only rebuke the mothers–“Why just now?” Some mothers, because they were so busy with other children or responsibilities, only realized that their sick babies had gotten worse because they were already having seizures!

And it’s because these parents don’t know any better. It’s the mothers who are not educated enough who bring children in that very frustrating state. That is the cycle. We need to break the cycle.

I’m a vaccine advocate and I believe in education campaigns. But pneumonia is such a complex issue! To tackle it encompasses a whole comprehensive plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor; anyone can have pneumonia. The difference is how you handle it, your level of awareness about pneumonia, and if you have access to proper medical care. Teach families that they can protect their kids against pneumonia by proper handwashing, breastfeeding, good nutrition, and a clean environment. That to prevent it, you need to get your children vaccinated, especially if you can afford it and if it is provided. And then, you need to teach them how to spot the early symptoms of pneumonia so it can be treated in time. If you teach people what to do, then their children have a chance to survive the first five years of life when they are most vulnerable.

Translated from Tagalog

THE CAMPAIGN

Reduce the Price of Pneumonia Vaccination

Pneumonia is the leading cause of childhood deaths for the Philippines and many developing nations. Unfortunately, pneumonia vaccination remains unaffordable for many families. How might we empower the Filipino diaspora to pressure pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and GSK to drop the price of pneumonia vaccination?

LEARN MORE
Powered by

Related Stories

Philippines

Empathy: Many Families Can’t Afford Healthcare

"Many families can't afford to prioritize health, especially if it means out-of-pocket expenses. Simply put, the treatment for pneumonia is too expensive for them." - Dr. Paolo Medina, M.D., Asst Professor for Community Medicine
Philippines

Caution: A Prescription is Not Enough

"Many parents avoid a consultation with a doctor and use the money to buy medicine instead. A prescription will not be enough to save their children from danger." - Monalee R. Estuita, RN, BSN, Clinic Coordinator at the Canoosa Health and Social Center
Philippines

Recurrence: My Baby is Coughing Again

"I know a vaccine exists, but it's not available at the health center. I don't even know if I'll be able to afford it. I'd like to know more because my baby is coughing again." - Tosana Tanola, Mother of Five, Living in a Shanty
Philippines

Unexpected: It Could Have Killed My Child

"The doctor said that my son has pneumonia and that it can kill. I was so shocked to hear those words! I never thouhgt something like this can happen to my child." - Shiela Maria Espinosa, Housewife and Mother
Philippines

Relief: I Was Desperate

"I wanted her to get better so badly but I had no idea how I was going to pay for all of these. I had nothing! Somehow, because of the kindness of strangers and with government aid, everyhint worked out." - Bernie Sevilla, Father, Unemployed

Stay updated and join our newsletter:

SUBMIT