At the end of the next decade, nearly eleven million small children in the world were threatened with pneumonia, according to one study. Based on current trends, more than 10.8 million children under the age of five are estimated to die from preventable infectious diseases by 2030, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Save the Children, the World Anti-Pneumonia Association. released on Monday.
While in industrialized countries, most older people develop pneumonia, in developing countries they are mostly children. In 2016 alone, more than 880,000 children, most of them under the age of two, died of the disease, according to the study.
Based on previous figures, several countries in Africa and South Asia are likely to be among the worst affected countries. For example, Nigeria and India counted 1.7 million deaths from pneumonia in children, 700,000 in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At the same time, the study authors stress that many deaths can be prevented by relatively simple actions. For example, better vaccination coverage, cheap antibiotics, and good nutrition for children can save 4.1 million people.
Save the Children's head Kevin Watkins said it could not be trusted that "every year, nearly one million children die from diseases that we have the knowledge and resources to conquer." For pneumonia it is not like other dangerous diseases "there are no pink circles, peaks or global marches".
"But for anyone who cares about justice for children and their access to basic health care, this forgotten killer must be a major concern in our day," Watkins said. For this, among other things, the price for an existing vaccine against pneumonia must be "dramatically" reduced.
Pneumonia can be triggered by viruses or bacteria. If treated early and the immune system of the affected person is not too weak, it can be cured. But in many cases, children contract the disease, which has been weakened by malnutrition.
Every year more children around the world die of pneumonia than from malaria, diarrhea and measles taken together. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2030 also include "the end of preventable deaths among children".
Published: 13.11.2018 – Source: Agence-France-Presse