UNICEF launches Report on pneumonia and diarrhoea

Pneumonia and diarrhoea: Tackling the deadliest diseases for the world’s poorest children.

13 JUNE 2012 | NEW YORK - Pneumonia and diarrhoea are leading killers of the world’s youngest children, accounting for 29 per cent of deaths among children under age 5 worldwide – or more than 2 million lives lost each year. The new report from UNICEFmakes a remarkable and compelling argument for tackling pneumonia and diarrhoea, two of the leading killers of children under age five. The data in this report highlight a critically important point – children living in the poorest households are less likely than the children living in the richest households to benefit from preventive measures and, when they do become ill, to receive lifesaving treatments. In fact, a modelling exercise indicated that by 2015 more than 2 million child deaths could be averted if national coverage of cost-effective interventions for pneumonia and diarrhoea were raised to the level of the richest 20 per cent in the highest mortality countries.

Pneumonia and diarrhoea: Tackling the deadliest diseases for the world’s poorest children is an urgent call to action to reduce child deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea. Doing so would not only reduce the survival gap between poorest and better-off children, but would also accelerate progress towards eliminating preventable child deaths. Greater commitment, attention and concerted global action are needed now on behalf the most vulnerable children.

This coincides with the release of a Comment in the Lancet authored by Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director.

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