Pneumonia may cause deaths of 11 million children by 2030

Henrietta Strickland
November 14, 2018

Pneumonia now kills more children under five than any other infectious disease - including measles, malaria and diarrheoa - with almost one million dying from the illness every year.

The study, released on the occasion of the World Pneumonia Day, found that the infectious disease is likely to kill almost 11 million children under five by 2030.

The highest burden of the disease over the next dozen years will be in Nigeria and India, which could both see more than 1.7 million could die, the forecasts project.

The grim statistics released on World Pneumonia Day showed that more than four million of these deaths could be easily averted with concerted action to improve rates of vaccination, treatment and nutrition. Actually, it kills more infants than measles, diarrhoea and malaria put together.

The aforementioned study also mentioned that wider coverage of pneumonia vaccination along with cheaper antibiotics and proper nutrition can help in saving lives of 4.1 million children.

Save the Children CEO Paul Ronald said, "It beggars belief that close to a million children are dying every year from a disease that we have the knowledge and resources to defeat". The day is observed on a global level to raise awareness about pneumonia, which is most infectious killer of infants worldwide. In developed countries, pneumonia is likely to affect the elderly, while in the developing nations, it is the children who are affected by pneumonia. There is a vaccine available, and a course of antibiotics costs just 54 cents AUD. "But for anyone who cares about justice for children and their access to essential healthcare, this forgotten killer should be the defining cause of our age".

Dr Iqbal Memon, a child specialist, told SAMAA TV that the immune systems of children and those above 65 years old is weak. "'My medical colleagues in the DRC are forced to watch children die.' The Sustainable Development Goals aims to 'end preventable child deaths" and achieve universal health coverage by 2030. These are medics with the same training as me. I could write a simple prescription or arrange a quick X-ray.

"The vast majority of those killed by pneumonia are poor and living in low and middle income countries". The study said that if necessary steps are not taken, Pakistan will have the third largest number of children affected by pneumonia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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