Pneumonia, a major killer among infants

Pneumonia remains the leading cause of death among children below five years, killing an estimated 1.4 million children each year, said Dr Karunakara B P, president of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP). 

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dr Karunakara said that globally, pneumonia kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. “It is alarming that India accounts for almost 25 per cent of the world’s pneumonia child deaths,” he added.

Speaking on malnutrition, the doctor said that creating a clean environment, breast feeding for the first six months of life, timely immunisation and appropriate healthcare delivery for children in India will significantly reduce mortality rates.

World Pneumonia Day was observed on November 12 and IAP will be flagging off the ‘Fight Pneumonia and Save a Child’campaign to increase awareness about the disease and its preventive measures. 

Pneumonia accounts for 20 per cent deaths in the world among children below five years, becoming the leading cause of death in the age group. According to IAP, annually, India witnesses 45 million pneumonia cases among children under five years, of which 0.37 million die due to pneumonia. 

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