Vaccination campaign to combat pneumonia from Sunday

Updated 30 January 2015
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Vaccination campaign to combat pneumonia from Sunday

Beginning Sunday, the Ministry of Health will carry out a three-month vaccination campaign against pneumococcal disease, an infection caused by streptococcus pneumonia bacteria (“pneumococcus”).
The bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia (infection of the lungs), ear infections, sinus infections, meningitis and bacteremia (blood stream infection). Pneumococcus bacteria are spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact with an infected person.
Symptoms of pneumococcal disease depend on the part of the body that is infected. They can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, confusion and disorientation, sensitivity to light, joint pain, ear pain, sleeplessness and irritability. In severe cases, pneumococcal disease can cause hearing loss, brain damage and even death.
Abdul Aziz bin Saeedi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, said the campaign will cover all the regions and advised people to pay heed to the health guidelines.
According to Ayesha Al-Shammari, supervisor of the national immunization program, the campaign is aimed at children between the ages of two and five years for a single dose of vaccination (PCV13) to protect them against 13 types of bacteria of streptococcus pneumonia.
There are 90 kinds of pneumococcal diseases but 13 species are the most prevalent and usually found in infants and children under five, she noted, pointing out that it can lead to three serious types of infections. These bacterial attack, she said, could cause severe damage to the brain, affect other parts of the body and may lead to permanent disabilities, such as loss of hearing or death.
Pneumococcal disease is a serious health threat that can lead to death. Many strains of streptococcus pneumonia are resistant to antibiotics. Infection with the bacteria is a leading cause of serious illness in adults and children worldwide. In the US alone, more people die from pneumococcal disease each year than all other vaccine-preventable diseases combined.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent pneumococcal disease. There are two different types of pneumococcal vaccine. The one that protects adults against 23 strains of streptococcus pneumonia bacteria is called pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), and it is marketed under the brand name Pneumovax. The other is pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV13 (brand name Prevnar 13), which is routinely given to infants and toddlers, but was approved by the FDA in 2011 for use in adults 50 and older.


US victory in Women’s World Cup inspires female Arab footballers

Updated 10 min 17 sec ago
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US victory in Women’s World Cup inspires female Arab footballers

  • Members of Jeddah Eagles, a women’s football squad with 39 players, watched the July 7 WWC final in anticipation of an exciting finish

JEDDAH: Football fans around the world celebrated the recognition of women in sports after the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) final match in Lyon, France, in which the US beat the Netherlands 2-0. One country where the US victory struck a powerful chord among female sports enthusiasts is Saudi Arabia.

Women are participating in sports in increasing numbers in the Kingdom as the reforms being introduced under the Vision 2030 plan enable women to take on different career paths.

Members of Jeddah Eagles, a women’s football squad with 39 players, watched the July 7 WWC final in anticipation of an exciting finish. In the end, they celebrated not only the US team’s victory but the recognition of women in sports as a whole. Members of the team talked to Arab News about how they have been inspired by the WWC.

BACKGROUND

Women are participating in sports in increasing numbers in Saudi Arabia as Vision 2030 reforms enable them to take on different career paths.

Johara Al-Sudairi, who has been playing for Jeddah Eagles as a winger since August 2017, said she is thrilled that football is gaining popularity among women in the Kingdom.

Fatimah Gari, who joined the team as a striker in 2014, was happy for her fellow female football players in the US for their victory.

“It is a very good feeling,” the 28-year-old Saudi told Arab News. “I wish one day we will have a Saudi team and will be in their place.”

The 16-year-old central midfielder believes Arab women would perform better than their male counterparts given the right support.

“With the right amount of funding and support, Arab women for sure can be better at playing,” she told Arab News.