Fighting for breath: how we can win the battle against childhood pneumonia


Photo above, by ALAMY. Article written by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

"Most people reading this article will think of pneumonia as a threat to the lives of elderly people in rich countries. We invite you to think again. Today, pneumonia is the single biggest killer of children in developing countries - and it is time for the international community to come together and combat the disease

Pneumonia claims the lives of more than 800,000 children every year, making it the biggest infectious killer of under-fives. Almost all these fatalities are preventable. Yet with relentless predictability, the death-toll continues – claiming more than 100 young lives every hour. 

Most of the victims are less than two years old. Every death leaves grieving parents forced to watch helplessly as their children fight for breath against a disease that attacks their lungs and starves their bodies of oxygen. 

Stopping pneumonia is not a complex scientific challenge. Effective vaccines can prevent the most common causes of the disease. Early and accurate diagnosis, followed by treatment with a three-day course of antibiotics costing just 25 cents would cure most cases. For children with more severe cases, treatment with oxygen and higher levels of antibiotics offer a route to recovery..." 

Access the full article here.



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Monday, 17 February 2020