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Tag Archives: pneumonia

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day!

A 10-year-old girl washes her hands with soap outside a sanitary latrine at Satrashia Government Primary School at Muktagasa, Mymensingh, in Bangladesh. © UNICEF/BANA2011-00854/Haque

— Global Handwashing Day is a day started five years ago to promote and raise awareness about one of the easiest, yet most important, hygiene practices. Handwashing is a simple thing most of us do every day, but washing hands actually saves lives. Each year, diarrheal diseases and pneumonia kill almost 3.5 million children under five in developing countries. Our hands are the principal carriers of disease-causing germs, and if widely practiced, it is estimated that handwashing with soap could avert 1 million of those deaths.
That’s why the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, founded by UNICEF and other partners, is encouraging the world to help promote handwashing with soap.

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Simple strategies can prevent children’s deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea

Jenny, 2, lies in bed with a respiratory infection in the paediatric ward of National Referral Hospital in Honiara, on Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands. UNICEF supports the hospital with training and supplies. © UNICEF/NYHQ2006-2556/Giacomo Pirozzi

— Over these past few weeks we have been gathering momentum as we continue our work towards the goal to end the deaths of children from preventable causes. One example of the enormous potential we have for saving children’s lives is in the prevention of pneumonia and diarrhea—the two primary killers of children under five. UNICEF recently released a report outlining effective prevention and treatment strategies for both illnesses. Here are some of the strategies UNICEF uses to save lives.

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Monday UNICEF pic: Pakistan

Pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality in children under 5, killing more than 4,000 every day.


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NewsNet: State of Asia-Pacific’s Children


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Pneumonia is our nemesis

Not long ago, my very curious niece asked me to explain UNICEF’s work. I told her about child survival issues, about how, in certain parts of the world, kids get sick and even die from things that she will never have to worry about: they don’t have clean water, don’t get enough to eat, come down with pneumonia

© UNICEF/ HQ06-2554/Giacomo Pirozzi
A baby with severe pneumonia lies in the pediatric ward of a hospital in the Solomon Islands. He has a breathing tube in his nose and an intravenous needle taped to his hand.

Pneumonia!” she said. “Isn’t that what old people get when they go outside in winter without a coat?” She’s not alone in imagining pneumonia as an elderly man in a wheelchair, coughing quietly from the dim corner of a nursing home. Would you be as shocked as she was to learn that pneumonia is the number one killer of children under five? That more children die from pneumonia than from AIDS, malaria and measles combined?

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