Pneumonia is a leading killer of children, accounting for 16% of all deaths of kids under-five even though it is preventable. A child dies from pneumonia every 35 seconds. In response, UNICEF partnered with Spain’s “la Caixa” Banking Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to host an event on November 3rd to discuss technological advances to fight pneumonia. Experts from the private sector, academia and the UN called for stronger public-private partnerships, which are essential to increasing access to health technologies.
Though progress has been made in combating the disease, unequal results are reminding the world that pneumonia remains a disease of poverty. UNICEF announced that it will work with partners to provide incentives for the private sector to accelerate research and development of critical health technologies for children (focusing on oxygen therapy), hoping to increase access in developing countries and remote areas where resources are scarce.
World Pneumonia Day on November 12th serves as an opportunity to bring awareness to the severity of the disease, encourage prevention and treatment, and unite organizations in the fight against Pneumonia.
Photo Credit: GAVI Alliance/Ed Harris