Pneumococcal diseases , cause and prevention.

Ironically a small bacterium can cause severe health hazard, this is the case with bacetrium Streptococcus pneumoniae ( S.pneumonaie) which causes a group of illnesses known as Pnemococcal diseases. 

S.pneumonaie colonizes in the upper respiratory tract and transmitted through respiratory droplets. It can be found  as part of the normal flora in the nasopharynx , but unfortunately with extremes of age which includes younger children than the age of five and  people older than 65 years of age it can progress to a much more serious infection.

“ When S.pneumonaie crosses the mucosal barrier  and enters the blood stream it causes a condition known as invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), this condition leads to Meningitis, Sepsis , Bactermia and pneumonia” says Dr. Salah Al Awaidi, director of the Department of communicable diseases  in the Ministry of Health of Sultanate of Oman during the 1st AFME pneumococcal congress.

“It can also cause local invasion, this causes a simple form of infection leading to Otitis Media, sinusitis and non bacteraemic pneumonia. This non invasive form if left untreated will also progress to IPD” continues Dr. Salah.

The shocking figures state that around 800,000 to a million children die with pneumococcal infection and a total of 1.6 million deaths worldwide, according to the WHO. The share of deaths caused by IPD is much higher in the Middle East and Africa due to poor awareness.

It’s devastating that with the presence of vaccination that can prevent IPD, S.pneumonaie still infects between 11 million and 20 million children with pnemoniae these children will require hospitalization and more than 2 million will die from the disease.

“We regard vaccination as every child’s right” states Dr. Baher Massoud, Pfizer regional head of Medical and Clinical affairs, Africa and Middle East region.

“We realize that vaccination can change certain demographics of a disease, and with the help of Health Authorities we are achieving our goal by raising awareness to IPD” continues Dr. Baher.

The WHO recommends the inclusion of the proper vaccine in the National Childhood Immunization plan. It’s puzzling that prophylactic vaccine is present but it’s not being used!!! That all these deaths and complications can be prevented with a simple vaccination.