On November 13, 2019, As per the study titled, “Fighting for Breath- A call to action on childhood pneumonia” released by UNICEF(United Nations Children’s Fund ,originally known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund ) and charity groups Save the Children & Every Breath Counts Coalition , Pneumonia is one of the leading killers of children in India, claiming more than 14 children under the age of 5 years every hour in 2018. It killed over 1,27,000 under-five children in 2018 with high risk factors of malnutrition (53%) and pollution(Outdoor air pollution -27% & Indoor air pollution-22%).
i.Top 5: Five countries responsible for more than half of child pneumonia deaths includes Nigeria (162,000), India (127,000), Pakistan (58,000), the Democratic Republic of Congo (40,000) and Ethiopia (32,000).
ii. Annual rate: Pneumonia claims the lives of more than 800,000 every year or around more than 2,000 every day & mortality rate in India registers 5 per 1,000 live births in 2018.
iii.Spending: India spends $16 on health per person in 2016, far below the 86-dollar minimum level recommended by the World Health Organization(WHO).
iv.Global level: At global level, more children under-five died from pneumonia in 2018 than from any other disease. About 437,000 children under five died due to diarrhoea and 272,000 due to malaria.
v.Target: According to Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD), the global target for pneumonia mortality rate for children under five by 2025 is three per 1000 live births.
It is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs fill with infection and fluid. It can be prevented with vaccines, nutritional support and preventing the spread of disease with clean water and hand washing. World Pneumonia Day, marked every year on November 12.
Headquarters– New York, U.S.
Executive Director- Henrietta H. Fore