Pfizer Partners With MRCS To Protect Vulnerable Communities Against Pneumococcal Disease

The partnership is a commitment to vaccine equity and narrow the access gap.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 – On the occasion of World Pneumonia Day 2022, Pfizer Malaysia is partnering with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) to vaccinate and protect 6,000 children and adults of different backgrounds against pneumococcal disease.

The vaccination drive was led by MRCS and supported by its NGO partners, including BeVital, Community Health Care Clinic, PT Foundation, Volunteer Geriatrician Overseeing Nursing Home (Klang Valley), QFFD Klinik Johor, Ihsan Johor Relief, and the National Cancer Society of Malaysia. 

“At Pfizer, our purpose is to deliver breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, and to make as broad an impact as possible, we recognise the need to address specific healthcare disparities such as access to vaccines. These 6,000 doses of pneumococcal vaccine that we are disbursing with the valuable help of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society and its NGO partners will go straight to not just children and adults but also to people of different backgrounds who may be otherwise unable to avail of equitable health care opportunities,’’ said Luksanawan Thangpaibool, country cluster lead for Pfizer Malaysia, Brunei, and Pakistan.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to continue our long-standing relationship with MRCS where we collaborate on different areas of health care needs for vulnerable communities in Malaysia. In the past, we have worked together to raise health literacy by organising virtual educational health workshops on disease awareness and prevention for the public.

“We trust that our latest partnership underscores our common goal of reaching and impacting as many people with unmet needs as possible. We look forward to this continuous partnership with MRCS and its NGO partners to further our commitment to vaccine equity and narrowing the access gap for vulnerable communities,’’ she added.

Globally, pneumonia affects approximately 450 million people a year, especially the elderly, and those with comorbidities. In Malaysia, pneumonia is ranked among the top three diseases that cause death in adults and children under five, and the numbers of reported pneumonia cases keep increasing yearly.

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a type of pneumonia commonly caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus).

It is an infectious, potentially serious bacterial lung disease that people can catch anytime and anywhere. The bacteria can spread from person to person through coughing or close contact.

“While Malaysia has been largely successful in rolling out various vaccination programmes, one of our many drivers at MRCS is to bring healthcare to every single person in need. This public-private partnership with Pfizer Malaysia to vaccinate and protect 6,000 children and adults of different backgrounds is aligned with MRCS’ aim to provide care and relief assistance to at-risk and vulnerable communities,” said MRCS secretary general Tuan Haji Hakim Hamzah.

“This World Pneumonia Day, we stand in solidarity with our partner, Pfizer Malaysia in reiterating that no one should suffer from a vaccine-preventable diseases such as pneumococcal pneumonia. Ensuring the vulnerable communities are adequately protected against infectious diseases is a humanitarian imperative, and this initiative meets the MRCS objective of leaving no one behind in all our efforts,” he added.

The annual World Pneumonia Day aims to raise awareness about the toll of pneumonia, and to advocate for global action to protect against, help prevent, and effectively treat this infectious disease.

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