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Progress for child survival: Pneumonia and diarrhoea

Listen to Dr Shunmay Yeung describe the progress made in reducing child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Dr Shunmay Yeung now highlights our third and final examples of rapidly-reducing but major causes of child mortality: pneumonia and diarrhoea. Despite gains these two conditions remain the biggest childhood killers, accounting for 25% of all deaths of children under-five, or around 1.5 million per year.

Along with measles, which is closely linked to both pneumonia and diarrhoea, these three causes are responsible for almost half the total reduction of child deaths. This has been achieved through:

  • Prevention via vaccines, provision of vitamin A, promotion of breastfeeding practices and clean water and sanitation
  • Treatment with oral rehydration solutions (ORS) and antibiotics.

Until recently both have been relatively neglected compared to HIV and malaria, but there is huge potential to make further, even more significant reductions in the number of deaths with a more integrated approach. How do the approaches to prevention and treatment differ from HIV and malaria? What about the challenges?

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Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action

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