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
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?