Pneumonia will kill almost 11 million children for five years by 2030 if current trends continue, experts warned on Monday for the World Infection Day.
Of a total of 10.8 million deaths, 1.7 million may occur in only two countries, Nigeria and India, according to forecasts from the U.S. University Johns Hopkins and NGO Save the Children. 700,000 children can die of this disease in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they add.
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory tract infection that affects the lungs. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), it is the main contagious cause of child mortality and it is "causes 15% of children's total deaths for 5 yearsWHO estimates that 922,000 children under 5 died of pneumonia in 2015 worldwide.
It is unthinkable that almost one million children die every year of a disease that we have the ability to overcome
Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi. "Prevention is possible through immunization, satisfactory nutritional status and improvement of environmental factors"says WHO.
According to the study published on Monday, 4.1 million children could be saved by implementing a set of measures: increasing global immunization coverage, ensuring access to antibiotics and improving the nutrition of children at risk.
"It is unthinkable that almost one million children die each year from a disease we have the ability to overcome ", commented the head of Save the Children, Kevin Watkins.
"There is no World Summit or March against Pneumonia. Still, anyone who cares about the health of children should consider this neglected killer as a priority cause"he said, demanding a drastic reduction in the price of vaccines.