Pneumonia: A forgotten epidemic killing one child every 39 seconds

adminWeb Editor

12th Nov, 2019. 03:40 pm

United nation and all health related institutions across the globe are observing world Pneumonia day, a preventable disease, killing thousands of children every day.

Pneumonia is preventable but still a killer disease and just five countries were responsible for more than half of child pneumonia deaths: Nigeria (162,000), India (127,000), Pakistan (58,000), the Democratic Republic of Congo (40,000) and Ethiopia (32,000).

Causes and Treatment

According to a report issued by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Children with immune systems weakened by other infections like HIV or by malnutrition, and those living in areas with high levels of air pollution and unsafe water, are at far greater risk.

The disease can be prevented with vaccines, and easily treated with low-cost antibiotics if properly diagnosed.

But tens of millions of children are still going unvaccinated – and one in three with symptoms do not receive essential medical care.

Children with severe cases of pneumonia may also require oxygen treatment, which is rarely available in the poorest countries to the children who need it.

Deaths due to Pneumonia

It is important to mention, Pneumonia claimed the lives of more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year, or one child every 39 seconds, according to a new analysis.

Most deaths occurred among children under the age of two, and almost 153,000 within the first month of life.

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, said: “Every day, nearly 2,200 children under the age of five die from pneumonia, a curable and mostly preventable disease.

Strong global commitment and increased investments are critical to the fight against this disease.

Only through cost-effective protective, preventative and treatment interventions delivered to where children are will we be able to truly save millions of lives.”

Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs fill with pus and fluid.

More children under the age of five died from the disease in 2018 than from any other. 437,000 children under five died due to diarrhoea and 272,000 to malaria.

This story is generated from the report published by UNICEF on world Pneumonia day


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