More than 17 lakh children in India are likely to die of pneumonia by 2030, despite the infection being easily treatable, according to a global study released Monday, which was World Pneumonia Day. The study, based on an analysis by Johns Hopkins University and the global charity organisation Save the Children, found that worldwide, pneumonia is likely to kill nearly 1.1 crore children under five by 2030. Nigeria is likely to bear the highest burden with 17.3 lakh predicted child deaths, followed closely by India with 17.1 lakh.
The forecasts are based on a model developed by Johns Hopkins researchers called the Lives Saved Tool (LiST). It shows that more than 40 lakh of 1.1 crore deaths — more than a third — could be easily averted with concerted action to improve rates of vaccination, treatment and nutrition. Scaling up vaccination coverage to 90% of children under age five could save 6.10 lakh lives; providing cheap antibiotics could save 19 lakh; and ensuring children have good nutrition could save 25 lakh. If all three overlapping interventions were carried out by 2030, the model suggests a total of 41 lakh deaths could be averted.
“It beggars belief that close to a million children are dying every year from a disease that we have the knowledge and resources to defeat. There is a vaccine available, and a course of antibiotics costs just 54 cents AUD [Rs 28.40 at Monday’s conversion rate],” the Save the Children website quoted CEO Paul Ronalds as saying. —Source: Save the Children