Pnock Out Pneumonia with the Best Shot Foundation
Nov 02, 2009
By David Rubenstein, Best Shot Foundation
Today is World Pneumonia Day – a day to amplify the quiet global discussion about how best to solve a forgotten health crisis and protect millions of children from a preventable and treatable disease.
We have the medical technology to make treating and preventing pneumonia easy and affordable. In fact, it costs only $20 to vaccinate an at-risk child from pneumonia. For children with pneumonia, treatment is even less expensive; $8 can diagnose and treat a child.
So, why does pneumonia continue to bury more children each year than any other disease? Because communities in the world’s poorest areas lack the knowledge and resources to combat pneumonia. Children across the United States are fortunate to live in healthier conditions and have access to health care that would spot and treat pneumonia. Most children in the developing world do not share such fortune.
Today, pneumonia will take 5,500 young lives. We have the potential to save thousands of those children. A safe, effective, affordable vaccine is available; we simply need leadership to make the difference. By harnessing charitable support from individuals, organizations, and the government we can ensure that the essential medical resources get to the children who need it.
I founded the Best Shot Foundation in May 2009, disheartened by the statistics and the number of children dying, but encouraged by the relatively solvable problem that pneumonia presents. One million children a year could be saved if we harness the political will and resources to tackle this problem.
We know that global health spending is skewed towards the most politically effective advocates. The Best Shot Foundation was created to raise the our voices against the world’s deadliest killer.
This winter, the Best Shot Foundation will build the fight to protect children by organizing Pnock Out Pneumonia dodgeball tournaments in 16 cities. Participants will raise both money and awareness as they compete to be dodgeball champions. They will lead the effort to spare poor families from the unspeakable heartbreak of losing a child from a preventable disease.
For more information about the Best Shot Foundation’s fight against pneumonia, go to http://www.best-shot.org. For information about the first annual World Pneumonia Day, go to http://www.worldpneumoniaday.org.
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