Navi Mumbai: Indian Academy Of Pediatrics Launches 'Tackling Cough With Care' Campaign

Navi Mumbai: Indian Academy Of Pediatrics Launches 'Tackling Cough With Care' Campaign

IAP, which was established in 1963 at Mumbai with a little more than 150 pediatricians as its members, has now close to 45,000 pediatricians across the country associated with them.

Raina AssainarUpdated: Saturday, July 06, 2024, 12:42 AM IST
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Navi Mumbai: Indian Academy Of Pediatrics Launches Nationwide 'Tackling Cough With Care' Campaign |

Navi Mumbai: The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has launched a massive campaign of “Tackling Cough With Care” under Its “IAP Ki Baat, Community Ke Saath” Nationwide Initiative on Friday. IAP, which was established in 1963 at Mumbai with a little more than 150 pediatricians as its members, has now close to 45,000 pediatricians across the country associated with them.

With five zones and 32 state branches, it is further distributed in 337 districts. The organization has launched various awareness campaigns this year with "Tackling Cough with Care” being the eights one. “Our aim is to provide accessible and relevant information, contributing to societal well-being. In order to manage the growing menace of cough and its related complications, we decided to choose cough as our topic,” Dr Samir Dalwai, National Coordinator for IAP, said.

"IAP Ki Baat, Community Ke Saath" campaign aims at addressing critical issues in child health. Aligned with the Presidential Action Plan for 2024 and 2025, this ongoing initiative will be conducted every year to engage communities and disseminate vital information on child health over two years.

“Coughing is a natural protective reflex. Cough is one of the most common symptoms in children, especially infants and pre-schoolers. Viral infections and allergies are the most common causes of cough. Timely immunization against infectious diseases is a step towards protection. Teaching proper cough manners to children prevents the spread of infection. Avoiding irritants at home-tobacco smoke, strong perfumes, deodorants, agarbattis- helps reduce allergic cough. In most children, the cough usually subsides within three weeks. If prolonged and persistent, disrupts sleep, activity, and feeding, it needs investigation,” Dr Bela Verma as IAP Executive Board Member 2024 and HOD (Pediatrics), JJ Hospital, said.

Cough is a symptom, not a disease and most coughs are self-limiting. It can be triggered by conditions affecting the nose, ear canal, eardrum, throat, glottis, airway, esophagus and surrounding structures. The reason behind coughing could be to clear airway secretions, airway irritation, to expel an unwanted substance and as a response to pressure from outside the airway.

Knowing the type of the cough is the most important part. Acute cough lasts for less than four weeks, chronic lasts for more than four weeks, progressive cough is the one in which the frequency and severity keeps increasing over the time, dry cough is an irritating cough without sputum and wet cough is associated with sputum.

“Your pediatrician is the best guide to help your child and may recommend investigations like chest X-rays or blood tests if needed. Contrary to popular belief, over-the-counter (OTC) cough syrups are unnecessary for most children and can be harmful if used inappropriately. Useful medications include bronchodilators for allergic cough and antihistamine syrups for post-nasal drip. Home remedies like honey and warm liquids are generally helpful for children,” Dr. Vasant Khalatkar, National President 2025 of IAP, said.

Dr. GV Basavaraja, National IAP President 2024, emphasizes, "The 'IAP Ki Baat, Community Ke Saath' campaign is vital for ensuring the well-being of children nationwide. Children below 3 months are having respiratory symptoms such as cough. Around 30-40% of kids are getting affected with respiratory infections due to the constant misuse of antibiotics. By creating awareness, the aim will be to reduce the misuse of antibiotics. We will educate parents and the masses with the help of digital platforms, and physical media by conducting a Continuing medical education (CME). We will also be organizing awareness campaigns in schools across the country. By providing accurate and credible information on cough, we aim to empower parents and caregivers to make informed decisions about their children's health." He added that 14% deaths caused in kids below the age of five is due to Pneumonia and cough is one of its symptoms.

Dr. Khalatkar, added, "Through collaborative efforts and widespread dissemination, we aim to address misconceptions and promote best practices in cough, ultimately contributing to the overall health and wellbeing of our children."

IAP has rolled out a questionnaire of five questions across the clinics of the member doctors which would be used by them to spread the awareness among their patients.

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