Advocacy for pneumonia prevention in Korea: a multi-dimensional program organised around World Pneumonia Day
© The Author(s) 2013
Received: 14 January 2013
Accepted: 4 April 2013
Published: 10 April 2013
There are limited examples of population-based approaches that engage a broad range of stakeholders for prevention of pneumonia. In 2010, a multi-dimensional public-private partnership was established around World Pneumonia Day (WPD) in Seoul, Korea and included the following components: a) formation of an expert advisory group, b) creation of educational materials tailored for lay persons, c) creation of a dedicated WPD internet website in the local language, d) organisation of a WPD venue in central Seoul, e) creation of video and social networking messages for wide distribution, and f) engagement of parents, health-care professionals, public health agencies and policymakers. This project directly engaged 7 expert health professionals, 5 national- and city-level health facilities, and parents from communities. The program reached out to 70,560 persons including 25,200 persons who were contacted in person at publicly-held WPD events. An educational video produced for WPD was aired in the Seoul subway and visible to several million persons riding subway lines that aired the pneumonia public service announcements over a two-month period (February to March, 2011). In addition, the Korean WPD website experienced 4,975 page views with 3,338 visitors and the micro blog associated with this site hosted 82 posts from site visitors. Based on participant numbers and contact volumes achieved in this project, the Korean WPD program was widely accepted and proved to be a highly effective in reaching a large audience to advocate for pneumonia prevention. One key to success of this program appears to be the unique public-private partnership around a major health issue. The methods and tools developed in this program have excellent potential for adaptation and application in other countries where pneumonia may be an under recognised problem among the general public.