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World Pneumonia Day, 12 November 2012

worldpneumoniadayOn World Pneumonia Day, the United Nations Secretary-General's global movement to advance the health of women and children, Every Woman Every Child, has joined forces with the Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia to draw attention to the critical importance of reducing child pneumonia deaths to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4.

World Pneumonia Day seeks to raise awareness of pneumonia as a public health issue and help prevent the millions of avoidable child deaths from pneumonia that occur each year. It is organized by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia (a network of international, government, non-governmental and community-based organizations, research and academic institutions, foundations, and individuals) to bring much-needed attention to pneumonia among donors, policy makers, health care professionals, and the general public.

Pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children worldwide. Every year, it kills an estimated 1.2 million children under the age of five years, accounting for 18% of all deaths of children under five years old worldwide. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere, but is most prevalent in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Children can be protected from pneumonia, it can be prevented with simple interventions, and treated with low-cost, low-tech medication and care.

Key facts

  • Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide.
  • Pneumonia kills an estimated 1.2 million children under the age of five years every year – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
  • Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi.
  • Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition and by addressing environmental factors.
  • Pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, but around 30% of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.

 

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