The number of deaths among children under the age of 5 has decreased by half since 1990. Yet over 5 million children are still dying every year from mostly preventable causes. Pneumonia is responsible for nearly 20 per cent of these deaths and is the leading cause of death due to infectious diseases for this age group. The rate of progress in reducing pneumonia-related deaths has been slower than for other vaccine-preventable diseases, and forecasts show that 6.3 million children under 5 could die from the infection over the next decade if the trends hold.
The brochure below – published jointly by UNICEF, Save the Children, and Every Breath Counts – highlights the causes that lead to pneumonia, the ways to prevent and treat it, and the resources needed if we are to fulfill every child’s right to survive. Projections by Johns Hopkins’ Lives Saved Tool (LiST) show that an additional 9 million children’s lives could be saved if we scale up key pneumonia-related interventions. That is a total of 23.4 million children saved from pneumonia and other diseases over the next decade – saving one child every 13 seconds.