As we told you earlier this week, this Friday is World Pneumonia Day. Pneumonia claims more lives than any other disease in the developing world for children under the age of five. But thankfully, it is considered one of global health’s most solvable problems.
To raise awareness on the importance of providing vaccines and antibiotics treatment for children in the developing world, here are some quick facts about the illness from WorldPneumoniaDay.org:
1. Pneumonia kills more children under the age of five than any other disease, claiming a young life every 20 seconds. That’s 4,300 young lives lost every day!
2. For every child that dies from pneumonia in the industrialized world, 2,000 more die in developing countries.
3. In these countries, children under 5 and under 2 years of age are at risk, especially in the poorest communities.
4. In fact, an estimated 98 percent of children who die of pneumonia live in developing countries.
5. Each year, there are more than 150 million episodes of pneumonia in young children in developing countries, and more than 11 million children need hospitalization for pneumonia.
6. The financial costs of pneumonia include hospital stays and medications, transportation to health centers, and the caretakers’ inability to work or take care of other family members while they are caring for a sick child. Families often must take out large loans to pay for care of their seriously ill child, which may further drag them into deep poverty.
7. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life is an important and easy way to help protect children from pneumonia and many other diseases.
8. The treatment for most types of serious pneumonia is usually antibiotics, which typically cost less than $1 per dose.
9. Tragically, only an estimated 1 of every 5 children with pneumonia receives antibiotics.
Please spread the word and don’t forget to wear blue on Friday! To find out how you can take action, visit the World Pneumonia Day website.