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Pneumonia, diarrhoea are top killers of kids: UNICEF

Monday, July 30, 2012    

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PNEUMONIA and diarrhoea are among the top causes of childhood deaths around the world, particularly among the poor, said a report by the UN Children's Fund.

UNICEF said that while these two diseases kill more than two million children each year, making up 29 per cent of child deaths under age five worldwide, some simple interventions could save lots of lives in the coming years.

The report urges the 75 countries with the highest mortality rates to aim to treat poor children with diarrhoea and pneumonia the same way they do those from the top 20 per cent of households, a so-called "equity approach."

Key interventions include vaccinating against the major causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea, encouraging infant breastfeeding, improving access to clean water and sanitation, offering antibiotics for pneumonia and rehydration solutions for diarrhoea.

"Modelled estimates suggest that by 2015 more than two million child deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea could be averted across the 75 countries with the highest mortality burden," said the report.

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