Pneumonia vaccinations a must for children, parents urged

DUBAI // Docters yesterday underlined the importance of innoculating children against pneumonia, a disease that kills the greatest number of youngsters worldwide and can be prevented by vaccination.

Five per cent of deaths among under fives in the UAE are due to pneumonia, said Dr Nawal al Kaabi, consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi.

Dr Catherine Weil-Olivier, professor of paediatrics at the Paris VII University in France and one of the speakers at the second annual Africa and Middle East Pneumococcal summit, said vaccinating children is "a real objective of public health to extend the benefit of the vaccine so that not only children are protected, but indirectly, the entire population as well".

Dr al Kaabi said that although the pneumonia vaccination is part of the National Immunisation Programme, it is not mandatory. "Many parents don't ask for the vaccine or don't understand how much of a difference it makes." Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Dr al Kaabi said that the vaccine programme protects children from pneumonia, meningitis, acute otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) and bacterial infection of the blood. This group of diseases, known as pneumococcal disease, are caused by a specific type of bacteria that is the main cause of death for children worldwide, she said.

"Pneumococcal disease can result in death, but it can also cause paralysis, seizures, hearing loss, mental retardation and learning disabilities," said Dr al Kaabi.

Children under five are the most susceptible because their immune systems lack the antibodies needed to fight infection, she added.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), pneumonia causes more deaths among children than Aids, malaria and measles combined. More than two million children die of pneumonia each year. Unicef has described it as "the forgotten child killer".

Middle ear infections, also part of pneumococcal disease, are the most common disease in children, with 140 million cases diagnosed annually, according to WHO.

Last month, the Ministry of Health introduced the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine PCV13, which is given to children under two. It is unprecedented in helping to prevent the bacteria that causes potentially fatal illnesses, said Dr al Kaabi.

UAE set for Scotland series

The UAE will host Scotland for a three-match T20I series at the Dubai International Stadium next month.
The two sides will start their Cricket World Cup League 2 campaigns with a tri-series also involving Canada, starting on January 29.
That series will be followed by a bilateral T20 series on March 11, 13 and 14.

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE


Author: Abdullah Khan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 304
Available: Now

In numbers

1,000 tonnes of waste collected daily:

  • 800 tonnes converted into alternative fuel
  • 150 tonnes to landfill
  • 50 tonnes sold as scrap metal

800 tonnes of RDF replaces 500 tonnes of coal

Two conveyor lines treat more than 350,000 tonnes of waste per year

25 staff on site



Name: Mamo

Year it started: 2019 Founders: Imad Gharazeddine, Asim Janjua

Based: Dubai, UAE

Number of employees: 28

Sector: Financial services

Investment: $9.5m

Funding stage: Pre-Series A Investors: Global Ventures, GFC, 4DX Ventures, AlRajhi Partners, Olive Tree Capital, and prominent Silicon Valley investors.


Multiply Titans 81-2 in 12.1 overs
(Tony de Zorzi, 34)

bt Auckland Aces 80 all out in 16 overs
(Shawn von Borg 4-15, Alfred Mothoa 2-11, Tshepo Moreki 2-16).

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)


5pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival Purebred Arabian Cup Conditions (PA); Dh 200,000 (Turf) 1,600m
5.30pm: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup Conditions (PA); Dh 200,000 (T) 1,600m
6pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Cup Listed (TB); Dh 380,000 (T) 1,600m
6.30pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Group 3 (PA); Dh 500,000 (T) 1,600m
7pm: Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan National Day Jewel Crown Group 1 (PA); Dh 5,000,000 (T) 2,200m
7.30pm: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival Handicap (PA); Dh 150,000 (T) 1,400m
8pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh 100,000 (T); 1,400m