Thinking About Clean Cookstoves on World Pneumonia Day

I bet you did not know today was World Pneumonia Day.

It certainly does not get the same kind of attention as diseases like HIV/AIDS, Malaria or Tuberculosis, but Pneumonia is no less ravishing on the people that it infects.  An estimated 1.5 million children die from Pneumonia each year.  That’s 4,200 children each day. One child every 20 seconds.

The numbers are staggering. But just two months ago, the global fight against Pneumonia received a significant boost when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the formation of a new public-private partnership to promote clean and efficient indoor cooking technology for millions of families in the developing world.

Pneumonia is a respiratory illness and the chances of contracting it are increased with exposure to indoor pollutants.   These pollutants are released everyday in households across the developing world that rely on traditional cooking methods. So, Secretary Clinton announced the formation of Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves with the goal of having 100 million households adopt clean cooking technologies by 2020.

The UN Foundation (which supports this blog) is a member of the alliance, as is the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a number of other public and private organizations.  I recently caught up with Dr. Henry Falk a distinguished fellow at the CDC and the immediate past Director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and Michael Sage, a Senior Advisor for Global Environmental Health, also with the National Center for Environmental Health at the CDC.   We talked about Pneumonia’s impact in the developing world and how clean cookstoves can make a difference.  Have a listen.

Wold Pneumonia Day by UN Dispatch

If you want to learn more about what you can do to help fight Pneumonia around the world, well, there’s a website.