Pneumonia will kill nearly 11 million children under 5 years of age by 2030 if current trends continue, warned experts on Monday for World Day dedicated to lung infection.
Out of a total of 10.8 million expected deaths, 1.7 million could be registered in just two countries, Nigeria and India, according to projections from the United States Johns Hopkins University and the Save the Children NGO.
700,000 children may die of this disease in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. According to the World Health Organization, it is the first infectious cause of mortality among children and causes 15% of deaths among children under 5 years of age.
WHO estimates that 922,000 children under 5 died of pneumonia in 2015 worldwide.
This disease can be caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi.
"Prevention is possible thanks to vaccination, a satisfactory nutritional status and an improvement in environmental factors," WHO says.
According to the study, 4.1 million children could be saved by implementing these measures: increasing global vaccination coverage, ensuring access to antibiotics, and improving nutrition for children most at risk.
"It is incredible that nearly a million children die each year from a disease that we nevertheless have the ability to overcome," said Kevin Watkins, director of Save the Children, calling for a dramatic cut in vaccine prices. AFP