May 22, 2015

Pneumonia Awareness Week 2015 Lungs4Life campaign a success – May 22, 2015

As Pneumonia Awareness Week 2015 draws to a close, we wish to thank many members of our lung health community for their invaluable contribution to our Lungs4Life public health campaign.

This year’s campaign was designed to heighten community awareness of pneumococcal pneumonia among at-risk groups, including those aged 65 years and older, and the importance of protecting against pneumonia, including vaccination.

Our campaign attracted extensive support from the professional community, with representation from leading pneumococcal experts nation-wide. In fact, a total of 29 spokespeople (comprising 15 experts and 14 patients) representing QLD, NSW, VIC, NT, TAS, SA and WA, lent their collective voice to our public health campaign.

To view our full media kit for our Lungs4Life campaign, head to lungs4life.net.

We extend a huge thank you in particular, to our patient spokespeople, for putting a personal face to pneumonia, and for sharing their trials and tribulations with the often fatal lung infection, with fellow members of the community.

We also wish to thank the national medical and consumer news media for relaying our story to their respective audiences, in order to heighten public awareness and understanding of pneumonia.

Each year, the number of new cases of pneumococcal pneumonia rises exponentially among those aged between 50-and-80 years, to nearly 200 per 100,000. That’s why it’s imperative Australians in this age group take all steps to protect themselves, including speaking to their doctor about vaccination.

Pneumococcal vaccination is funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for all Australians aged 65 and over, with many eligible for a second vaccine five years following their first dose. Australian Immunisation Guidelines also recommend pneumococcal vaccination for people living with chronic medical conditions.

Lung Foundation Australia Chief Executive Officer, Heather Allan, says this year the number of Australians turning 65 and older will exceed three million.

“It’s important for Australian seniors to understand that their age along puts them at heightened risk of contracting pneumonia.

“Australians take their heart and breast health seriously. Now it’s time for them to start taking their lung health just as seriously,” Ms Allan said.

“One-in-10 people are affected by lung disease, yet many of us continue to take our lungs for granted.

“When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters,” said Ms Allan.

Lung Foundation Australia urges all Australians aged 18 and above who are considered at-risk of contracting pneumonia, people aged 65 or older, and those eligible for a second vaccine after five years, to recognise its seriousness, and protect against the infection.

For more information, call Lung Foundation Australia on 1800 654 301.