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Pneumonia Awareness Week

Did you know pneumonia causes 1.6 million deaths every year? Find out how to get involved.


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Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by a virus, bacteria or fungus. It causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill with fluid, resulting in a cough, painful breathing and limited oxygen intake. Anyone can contract pneumonia, but it tends to be more common in children under 4 years of age and those aged 65 and above. Other risk groups include smokers, people with chronic illnesses and indigenous peoples.

Pneumonia is responsible for 1.6 million deaths worldwide every year and is one of the top 15 contributing causes of death in Australia. Pneumococcal pneumonia, caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, is the only bacterial pneumonia for which there is a vaccine. This vaccine is free to all Australians aged 65 and over through the National Immunisation Program.

What is Pneumonia Awareness Week?

Pneumonia Awareness Week is an event run every year by the Lung Foundation Australia. Its aim is to educate Australians about the seriousness of pneumonia and to encourage those most at risk to seek further information about vaccination.

The week consists of a variety of organised events, including talks by pneumococcal experts and pneumonia survivors as well as events held by organisations and individuals across the nation to help raise awareness and funds. Media coverage of pneumonia on TV and radio as well as in the press is also increased.

Lung Foundation Australia is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring that lung health is a priority for all Australians. Money raised during Pneumonia Awareness Week helps them continue to fund quality pneumonia research.

What’s happening in 2017?

No information is available yet re 2017 theme or planned events. Keep an eye on this space for updates.

How can you get involved?

As well as participating in Pneumonia Awareness Week activities, there are a number of ways you can help Lung Foundation Australia continue their work. You could decide to do any of the following:

  • Make a donation or bequeath a gift in your will.
  • Organise a fundraising event, such as a fun run, charity auction, dinner party or trivia night.
  • Become a corporate sponsor if you are a business and provide financial support in return for publicity.
  • Support businesses that become corporate sponsors by using their products and services.
  • Become a volunteer with Lung Foundation Australia and use your talents to help with marketing, fundraising or administration support.

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