"Two million of the world's poorest children could be saved by introducing routine vaccination programs against diarrhea and pneumonia," according to a new report (.pdf) from UNICEF, BBC News reports (6/8). "Pneumonia and diarrhea account for nearly one-third of the deaths among children under five globally," the Guardian writes, adding, "Nearly 90 percent of deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia" (Tran, 6/8). The report "identifies a tremendous opportunity to narrow the child survival gap both among and within countries by increasing commitment, attention and funding," according to a press release from UNICEF (6/8).
"'Scaling up simple interventions could overcome two of the biggest obstacles to increasing child survival (and) help give every child a fair chance to grow and thrive,' said Anthony Lake, executive director of [UNICEF]," Reuters reports. "The study called for coherent and reliable distribution plans for new vaccines against the major causes of pneumonia and diarrhea -- including the influenza virus, rotavirus and pneumococcal bacteria," the news service adds (Pierson, 6/8). The report "is being issued shortly before the launch of a major global initiative on child survival in Washington, D.C. on [June] 14-15," the UNICEF press release notes (6/8).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.