Pneumonia Kills More Children than AIDS, Malaria and Measles Combined

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An estimated 29,000 children under five years old die around the world every day, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said. According to a report released by UNICEF on Monday, most of these deaths are preventable. Pneumonia alone kills more children under five than any other disease. Two million children die of pneumonia, more than those killed by AIDS, malaria and measles combined. The UNICEF report was based on a focused assessment of key maternal, neonatal and child survival indicators across the 60 countries with high child mortality. The countries studied account for 94 per cent of all under-five deaths worldwide. Releasing the report in New York, UNICEF called for stronger health services in countries with high child mortality and increased Government and donor support for child survival. Ann Veneman, the UNICEF Executive Director, said dramatic gains in child survival within some countries point the way toward successful strategies that can work on a broader scale. She said such strategies include integrated, community-based approaches that address maternal and child health, nutrition, AIDS prevention and water and sanitation. UNICEF notes that few of the countries with high child mortality levels are on track to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Reducing child mortality levels is the fourth of the Millennium Development Goals, which are a list of targets aimed at reducing poverty and other social ills.