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

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

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This report makes a remarkable and compelling
argument for tackling two of the leading killers
of children under age 5: pneumonia and diarrhoea.
By 2015 more than 2 million child deaths
could be averted if national coverage of costeffective
interventions for pneumonia and diarrhoea
were raised to the level of the richest 20
per cent in the highest mortality countries. This
is an achievable goal for many countries as they
work towards more ambitious targets such as universal
coverage.

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 (figure 1). This toll is highly concentrated in
the poorest regions and countries and among the
most disadvantaged children within these societies.
Nearly 90 per cent of deaths due to pneumonia
and diarrhoea occur in sub-Saharan Africa
and South Asia.

The concentration of deaths due to pneumonia
and diarrhoea among the poorest children
reflects a broader trend of uneven progress in
reducing child mortality. Far fewer children are
dying today than 20 years ago – compare 12 million
child deaths in 1990 with 7.6 million in 2010,
thanks mostly to rapid expansion of basic public
health and nutrition interventions, such as immunization,
breastfeeding and safe drinking water.
But coverage of low-cost curative interventions
against pneumonia and diarrhoea remains low,
particularly among the most vulnerable.

There is a tremendous opportunity to narrow
the child survival gap between the poorest and
better-off children both across and within countries
– and to accelerate progress towards the Millennium
Development Goals – by increasing in a
concerted way commitment to, attention on and
funding for these leading causes of death that
disproportionately affect the most vulnerable
children.
This report makes a remarkable and compelling
argument for tackling two of the leading killers
of children under age 5: pneumonia and diarrhoea.
By 2015 more than 2 million child deaths
could be averted if national coverage of costeffective
interventions for pneumonia and diarrhoea
were raised to the level of the richest 20
per cent in the highest mortality countries. This
is an achievable goal for many countries as they
work towards more ambitious targets such as universal
coverage.

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 (figure 1). This toll is highly concentrated in
the poorest regions and countries and among the
most disadvantaged children within these societies.
Nearly 90 per cent of deaths due to pneumonia
and diarrhoea occur in sub-Saharan Africa
and South Asia.

The concentration of deaths due to pneumonia
and diarrhoea among the poorest children
reflects a broader trend of uneven progress in
reducing child mortality. Far fewer children are
dying today than 20 years ago – compare 12 million
child deaths in 1990 with 7.6 million in 2010,
thanks mostly to rapid expansion of basic public
health and nutrition interventions, such as immunization,
breastfeeding and safe drinking water.
But coverage of low-cost curative interventions
against pneumonia and diarrhoea remains low,
particularly among the most vulnerable.

There is a tremendous opportunity to narrow
the child survival gap between the poorest and
better-off children both across and within countries
– and to accelerate progress towards the Millennium
Development Goals – by increasing in a
concerted way commitment to, attention on and
funding for these leading causes of death that
disproportionately affect the most vulnerable
children.

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Published by: The United Nations Children's Fund on Jul 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2014

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Pneumoniaand diarrhoea
Tackling the deadliest diseasesfor the world’s poorest children
 
© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) June 2012Permission is required to reproduce any part o this publication. Permission will be reely granted toeducational or non-proft organizations. Others will be requested to pay a small ee.Please contact:Statistics and Monitoring Section – Division o Policy and Strategy UNICEFThree United Nations PlazaNew York, NY 10017USA Tel: 1.212.326.7000Fax: 1.212.887.7454This report will be available at <www.childino.org/publications>.For latest data, please visit <www.childino.org>.ISBN: 978-92-806-4643-6Photo credits: cover, © UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2803crop/Olivier Asselin; page vi, © UNICEF/NYHQ2004-1392/Shehzad Noorani; page 6, © UNICEF/INDA2012-00023/Enrico Fabian; page 12, © UNICEF/NYHQ2011-0796/Marco Dormino; page 19, © UNICEF/UGDA01253/Chulho Hyun; page 23, ©UNICEF/SRLA2011-0199/Olivier Asselin; page 25, © UNICEF/MLIA2010-00637/Olivier Asselin;page 29, © UNICEF/NYHQ2006-0949/Shehzad Noorani; page 31, © UNICEF/NYHQ2010-1593/Pierre Holtz; page 34, © UNICEF/INDA2010-00170/Graham Crouch; page 36, © UNICEF/INDA2010-00190/Graham Crouch; page 37, © UNICEF/NYHQ2010-3046/Giacomo Pirozzi; page 40, © UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0156/Nyani Quaryme.
 
Pneumoniaand diarrhoea
Tackling the deadliest diseasesfor the world’s poorest children

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