What causes more deaths than HIV, malaria, and measles—combined? Bet you didn’t guess pneumonia.
Despite the fact that in 2013, a child died from pneumonia every 35 seconds, minimal funding has gone to addressing this serious public health issue.
A new report published yesterday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) includes statistics like this one. However, these grim realities can mask critical successes, lessons for how all countries can fight childhood pneumonia.
The graphic below shows how the toll of childhood pneumonia has changed over time for a subset of high-burden countries. Globally, child pneumonia deaths fell 58% between 1990 and 2013. A number of large countries saw even more dramatic declines.
Bangladesh, the leader of progress in South Asia, is a prime example of how gains in child health can be achieved when a disease is addressed from every angle. From 1990 to 2013, Bangladesh recorded an 80% drop in child pneumonia deaths. In 1990, Bangladesh had the sixth highest number of child pneumonia deaths in the world; by 2013, the country fell to the 14th highest. To take on its biggest childhood killer, Bangladesh substantially improved the three key components of reducing pneumonia: prevention, treatment, and risk reduction. [Read more…]