India remains behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia in containing deaths due to pneumonia, which was considered a forgotten global epidemic, finds a UNICEF 2018 report.
According to the report, India ranked second with 1.27 lakh children succumbing to pneumonia in 2018 following Nigeria, which was on top with 1.67 lakh fatalities.
Of the total pneumonia deaths in world’s top 15 countries in 2018, Pakistan accounted for 58,000 children, while Bangladesh and Somalia recorded fewer numbers.
The epidemic claimed lives of 8,000,00 children under the age of five last year, that is, one child in every 39 seconds, according to the report shared by UNICEF.
Due to failure of proper vaccination, pneumonia cases seem to be on the rise in five countries including India.
A press release by UNICEF mentioned that every day nearly 2,200 children under the age of five die from pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi.
Alarmed at the re-emergence of this disease, six leading health and children’s organisations will host world leaders at the global forum on childhood pneumonia in January 2020.
The global experts in a joint call to action have urged the governments of the worst-affected countries, including India to develop and implement strategies to control and reduce pneumonia-related deaths.