Recurrence: My Baby is Coughing Again


Rosana Tañola, Mother of 5, Lives in a shanty covered by tarpaulin waiting to be relocated

I’m always worried now when I hear my baby coughing. He’s been coughing for three months on and off, getting somewhat better when I’d give him some cough medicine. But a couple of weeks ago, his cough sounded hard and his stomach was so sunken when he’d take a breath.

We actually took him to the hospital because of diarrhea and vomiting, but the doctor heard him coughing. It turned out, he had pneumonia as well. They confined him for treatment for five days. Thankfully, his x-rays didn’t show any signs of tuberculosis.

This wasn’t the first time I’d dealt with pneumonia either. His eldest sister suffered from broncho pneumonia when she was one year old. Her case was scarier. They kept her in the ICU for three days before she finally got better.

I actually don’t know what to do to prevent pneumonia. I didn’t think to ask and no one has given me advice either. I know a vaccine exists, but it’s not available at the health center. I learned about it because I heard the social workers talking about it. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to afford it. Our house was demolished and we’re still waiting to be relocated. I have five children.

But I’d like to know more because my baby is coughing again. I have some medicine for him and an herbal supplement the neighbors said will help his cough. But it’s like, here we go again. Yes, I’m worried again.

Translated from Tagalog


A Fair Shot for All Kids

Pneumonia is the leading cause of childhood deaths for the Philippines and many developing nations. Unfortunately, pneumonia vaccination remains unaffordable for many families. How might we empower the Filipino diaspora to pressure pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and GSK, to drop the price of pneumonia vaccination?

Powered by

Related Stories


Empathy: Many Families Can’t Afford Healthcare

"Many families can't afford to prioritize health, especially if it means out-of-pocket expenses. Simply put, the treatment for pneumonia is too expensive for them." - Dr. Paolo Medina, M.D., Asst Professor for Community Medicine

Caution: A Prescription is Not Enough

"Many parents avoid a consultation with a doctor and use the money to buy medicine instead. A prescription will not be enough to save their children from danger." - Monalee R. Estuita, RN, BSN, Clinic Coordinator at the Canoosa Health and Social Center

Educate: Young Children are Most Vulnerable

"It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor; anyone can have pneumonia. If you teach people what to do, then their children have a chance to survive the first five years of life when they are most vulnerable." - Dra. Lulu Bravo, M.D. Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist

Unexpected: It Could Have Killed My Child

"The doctor said that my son has pneumonia and that it can kill. I was so shocked to hear those words! I never thouhgt something like this can happen to my child." - Shiela Maria Espinosa, housewife and mother

Relief: I Was Desperate

"I wanted her to get better so badly but I had no idea how I was going to pay for all of these. I had nothing! Somehow, because of the kindness of strangers and with government aid, everything worked out." - Bernie Sevilla, father, unemployed

Stay updated and join our newsletter: