PARIS, (PR) .- Pneumonia will kill nearly 11 million children under five in 2030, experts warned as quoted from the site www.rte.ie. Comic Stan Lee, who died at the age of 95, is also thought to have died from pneumonia.
November 12th is World Pneumonia Day; global day aimed at raising awareness of one of the largest infectious killers in the world. In developed countries, severe lung infections primarily affect the elderly. However, in developing countries children bear the burden, with hundreds of thousands of people dying every year because of diseases that are actually easily prevented.
More than 880,000 children – especially less than two years old – died of pneumonia in 2016 alone. A new analysis conducted by Johns Hopkins University and Save the Children aid group made predictions based on the current trend, that more than 10,800,000 toddlers will give up on this disease at the end of the next decade.
Furthermore, some countries are ready to bear the highest burden, with 1.7 million children going to die in Nigeria and India, 700,000 in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But there is good news. The study found that increasing existing vaccination coverage, coupled with cheap antibiotics and ensuring good nutrition for children could save a total of 4.1 million people.
Pneumonia, an inflammatory lung infection that can be transmitted through viral or bacterial infections, can be treated if caught early enough and the patient's immune system is not disturbed.
However, throughout the world this infection attacks young people who are often weak due to malnutrition, killing more babies every year than malaria, diarrhea and measles when combined. "It is believed that nearly one million children die every year because the diseases that are actually with the knowledge and resources we have can be defeated," said Save the Children CEO Kevin Watkins.
"There is no pink ribbon, global summit or warning march for pneumonia. But anyone who cares about justice for children and their access to important health care, this forgotten killer must now become our puesat attention."
Pak Watkins' group, which operates health programs in some of the countries hardest hit by the disease, called for the price of pneumonia vaccines that are currently still being "dramatically reduced". 2030 is the target date for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which includes a pledge to "end preventable child mortality" by the end of the next decade.