A Report released by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on November 12 highlights that India continues to have the highest number of pneumonia and diarrhoea cases in the world. It also points out that most children in the country do not have access to life-saving treatments and prevention measures.
November 12 is observed as World Pneumonia Day. The 2013 Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report evaluates 15 countries which records the highest number of child deaths succumbing to pneumonia and diarrhoea,based on UNICEFs latest estimates and reports on their progress in implementing GAPPD interventions with respect to coverage targets.
India continues to lose more than 400,000 children before they turn five to these two diseases,the report stated. Similar results were found in the Pneumonia Progress Report 2012,in which India topped the list of countries with the highest number of child deaths due to pneumonia.
According to the latest estimates by the UNICEF,pneumonia and diarrhoea claimed the lives of more than 1.7 million children below five years of age in 2012.
Marking World Pneumonia Day,there is a need to recommit ourselves to tackling these preventable childhood diseases said Dr Naveen Thacker,Secretary,Child Health Foundation and Former President,Indian Academy of Pediatrics.There are simple,low cost solutions,such as hand washing with soap,controlling indoor air pollution,encouraging exclusive breast feeding,oral rehydration solution and zinc supplementation,administering vaccines and increasing access to treatment that can save these childrens lives, he added.