World Pneumonia Day: Health department launches SAANS campaign in Leh

On the occasion of World Pneumonia Day, Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) campaign was launched in the Leh district on November 12.

SAANS Initiative was launched on November 16, 2019, to accelerate action to reduce deaths due to Childhood Pneumonia. SAANS Campaign is rolled out in the States/ UTs every year to accelerate action against Childhood Pneumonia by generating awareness around protecting, preventing, and treatment aspects of Childhood Pneumonia and to enhance early identification and care-seeking behaviours among parents and caregivers. Under SAANS, the government is targeting a reduction in pneumonia-caused deaths by 2025 to less than 3 deaths out of 1000 live births.

The campaign was launched by Director Health Services, UT Ladakh, Dr. Motup Dorjey.

A one-day orientation programme on SAANS was also organised by the Health Department, Leh for the medical fraternity attended by the Medical Officers and Block Medical Officers of the district.

Chief Medical Officer, Leh, Dr. Nurzin Angmo; District Immunization Officer, Leh; Dr. Diskit Dolma; District Tuberculosis Officer, Leh, Dr. Iqbal Ahmed; Nodal Officer, SAANS program/ Paediatrician, Dr. Tsering Norphel; State Consultant, RCH and NCD, Dr. Rinchen Angmo were present on the occasion.

Director Health Services, Dr. Motup Dorjey added that the SAANS campaign is launched at an apt time as pneumonia cases are mostly detected in the winter months and stressed that timely referral of pneumonia cases, especially in children, plays an important role in effectively curbing pneumonia and consequent deaths.

He added that after the orientation programme the MOs and BMos should impart training to the Community Health Officers, ASHAs, ANMs, and pharmacists as well to ensure that the SAANS campaign is implemented effectively and the targeted goals are achieved timely.

Informing that the under-five mortality rate of UT Ladakh is better compared to the national average and that there was no death reported due to pneumonia in children in the last year, Dr. Motup urged all the stakeholders to strive harder to further reduce the infant mortality rate in the region.

Highlighting the need to neutralize pneumonia, Chief Medical Officer, Leh, Dr. Norzin Angmo, shared that childhood pneumonia results in 16.2% of deaths in children under five years. She stressed the need for capacity-building workshops/ training, a pro-active action plan, digital and mass media awareness, supervision, and monitoring to successfully implement the SAANS campaign.

Moderating the SAANS orientation programme, Nodal Officer, SAANS campaign, Dr.Tsering Norphel, gave a detailed presentation on Childhood pneumonia, its causes, symptoms, protection, prevent and treatment (PPT) strategy, management, and IEC activities.

Earlier, State Consultant, NDC RCH, Dr. Rinchen Angmo briefed about the aims, objectives, and guidelines of the SAANS campaign.

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