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    Pneumonia and diarrhoea killed over 3 lakh kids in India in 2013: Report

    November 13, 2014

    MUMBAI: Pneumonia and diarrhoea have collectively claimed the lives of over three lakh children in India in 2013, posing a major challenge to public health in the country, a report said.


    The '2014 Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report', released by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, highlights India's persisting burden of these two ailments.


    "As per the latest estimates from UNICEF, pneumonia and diarrhoea collectively claimed more than 3,00,000 children in India in 2013," the report said.


    Out of these, pneumonia killed over 1.7 lakh children under five years of age in the country, it said.


    "Despite major reductions in pneumonia and diarrhoea mortality globally, progress in the highest-burden countries remains fairly stagnant. Introduction and scale-up of proven interventions that protect, prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea need to be accelerated to ensure that every child, no matter what life circumstances he or she is born into, will have the chance to celebrate his/her fifth birthday," the report said.


    According to the report, India ranks third lowest compared to the 15 other high burden countries for its Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) score-a calculated average of coverage levels for the vital pneumonia and diarrhoea interventions outlined in the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF's integrated GAPPD for which data are available, including vaccination, exclusive breastfeeding, access to care, and use of antibiotics, oral rehydration solution (ORS), and zinc.


    However, it also noted that India is in a position to improve its ranking following the recent commitments it has made towards access to child health interventions.


    It also notes marginal progress towards improving coverage of life-saving interventions to prevent child deaths and those suffering from these diseases.


    "In India, pneumonia and diarrhoea have been a health challenge for very long time. But it is heartening to see that the government has started intensifying strategies to combat these diseases through various interventions," Dr V K Paul, Head of Pediatrics, AIIMS said in a statement.

    Last modified on Thursday, 13 November 2014 08:31

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