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Fighting for Breath: A call to action on childhood pneumonia

This report shows that pneumonia, ‘the forgotten child killer,’ is responsible for the deaths of more children under five than any other disease. It kills two children in this age group every minute—more than malaria, diarrhoea, and measles combined.

More than 80% of the victims are children under two years old, many with immune systems weakened by malnutrition or insufficient breastfeeding and unable to fight the infection. Infants are at their most vulnerable in the first weeks of life.

To combat this preventable disease, Save the Children calls for:

  • Cheaper vaccines to prevent pneumonia and more investment in immunisation;
  • Governments adopting Pneumonia Action Plans that provide universal access to health workers trained to diagnose accurately and early;
  • Governments and aid donors ensuring that life-saving antibiotics are available;
  • Public-private partnerships to expand provision of the oxygen needed to help children struggling to breathe.
Published 2017-11-02