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Simple measures could prevent more than two million child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4025 (Published 08 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4025
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

More than two million child deaths could be prevented if poorer countries implemented cost effective and available strategies to treat and prevent pneumonia and diarrhoea, says a report from the children’s charity Unicef.

Pneumonia and diarrhoea are responsible for 29% of deaths among children under the age of 5 years worldwide, with that figure standing at 49% in sub-Saharan Africa and 39% in South Asia. Nine out of 10 of all deaths from the two diseases among children occur in these two regions.

About half the world’s deaths from the two diseases are concentrated in five countries—India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, and Ethiopia—and deaths are concentrated in the poorest and most deprived people …

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