Airway infection, pneumonia killed last year, more than 800,000 people most of whom are children, indicate health institutions. Nigeria, Ethiopia and the DRC among the five most affected countries.
Humanity is celebrating this Tuesday, November 12th, World Pneumonia Day. The opportunity for WHO, UNICEF and many other UN agencies and NGOs including Save the Children to take stock of this pathology in the world.
A situation that is far from brilliant considering the number of victims recorded last year. « Pneumonia killed more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year, one every 39 seconds, » says the report, highlighting a kind of neglect of the international community. this « real public health problem ».
« This is a forgotten global epidemic that requires an urgent international response. Millions of children are dying for lack of vaccines, antibiotics and oxygen treatments, « said Kevin Watkins of Save the Children.
Airway infection often caused by microscopic bacteria, viruses or fungi, pneumonia mainly affects the alveoli of the lungs. The latter are filled with pus and liquid, which makes the breathing painful and limits the absorption of oxygen.
More virulent than other pathologies
This is often the cause of 15% of deaths of children under 5 in the world. And it is much more the children of Africa who are the expenses of these infections.
Indeed, according to the study, among the five most affected countries, three are African. These are Nigeria (162 000), the DRC (40 000) and Etiopia (32 000). Asia is represented in this top five by India (127,000) and Pakistan (58,000).
The report also compares that in 2018, 437,000 children under five died of diarrheal diseases worldwide and 272,000 of malaria.
The Forum on Infant Pneumonia next January in Barcelona (Spain) should lay the groundwork for the fight against these infections.