The study, published on World Pneumonia Day, finds that upgrading existing vaccination coverage, coupled with cheap antibiotics and ensuring good nutrition for children, can save a total of 4.1 million lives
PARIS, France – Pneumonia will kill almost 11 million children under 5 years 2030, experts warned Monday, November 12 on a global day aimed at raising awareness of the largest infectious killer of infants worldwide.
While in the developed world, the serious lung infection mainly affects the elderly, in developing countries, the child is wearing brown, with hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from the easily preventable disease.
More than 880,000 children – mainly younger than two years – died of pneumonia in 2016 alone.
A new analysis conducted by Johns Hopkins University and the Rescue Save the Children Helpdesk with predictions based on current trends showed that more than 10,800,000 underfives would lead to the disease at the end of the next decade.
In addition, there are a handful of countries to bear the highest burdens, with 1.7 million children to die in Nigeria and India, 700,000 in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nevertheless, there are some good news.
The study, published on World Pneumonia Day, found that upgrading existing vaccination coverage, combined with cheap antibiotics and ensuring good nutrition for children could save a total of 4.1 million lives.
Pneumonia, inflammatory infection of the lungs that can be contracted by virus or bacterial infection, can be treated if they are caught early enough and the patient's immune system is not compromised.
But the world over meets young children who are often weak through malnutrition and kill more infants each year than malaria, diarrhea and measles in combination.
"It is believed that nearly one million children die each year from a disease we have the knowledge and resources to defeat," says Save the Children CEO Kevin Watkins.
"There are no pink bands, global summits or marshes for pneumonia. But anyone who cares about justice for children and their access to basic care, this forgotten killer should be the root cause of our age."
The Watkins group, which runs health programs in some of the countries affected by the disease, demanded that the prices of major pneumonia vaccines be reduced "dramatically".
2030 is the target date for the UN Sustainable Development Goal, which includes a promise to "stop preventing childbirth" by the end of the next decade. – Rappler.com