By the end of the next decade, according to a study, nearly eleven million children in the world are threatened with pneumonia. Based on current trends, more than 10.8 million children under five years are expected to die from the actual contagious communicable disease by 2030, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Save the Children, the World Anti-Pneumonia Association was released on Monday.
While in developed countries, elderly people mostly develop pneumonia, in developing countries, they are the most children. By 2016, more than 880,000 children, most under two years, died of the disease, according to the study.
Based on previous figures, some African and South Asian countries are likely to be among the worst affected countries. Nigeria and India, for example, expect 1.7 million deaths from pneumonia in small children, 700,000 in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
At the same time, the authors of the study stressed that many deaths could be prevented by relatively simple measures. For example, better vaccination, cheap antibiotics and good nutrition for children can save 4.1 million lives.
Save the children's head, Kevin Watkins, said it was incredible that "every year nearly a million children die of a disease that we have the knowledge and resources to conquer." For pneumonia it is unlike other dangerous diseases "no pink loops, global peaks or marches".
"But for anyone who cares about justice for children and their access to basic care, this forgotten killer should be the crucial concern for our age," Watkins said. For this, the prices of existing vaccines against pneumonia must be "dramatically reduced".
Pneumonia can be triggered by viruses or bacteria. If it is treated early and the affected human immune system is not too weak, it is curable. In many cases, children contract the disease, already weakened by malnutrition.
Every year more children die from pneumonia all over the world than from malaria, diarrhea and measles together. The UN's sustainable development target by 2030 also includes an "end of childbirth deaths".
Published: 13.11.2018 – Source: Agence-France-Presse