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WHO, UNICEF, GAVI Alliance Highlight Essential Actions To Prevent Pneumonia

WHO, UNICEF and the GAVI Alliance marked World Pneumonia Day, observed Tuesday, “by highlighting essential actions that can help end child deaths” from pneumonia, the U.N. News Centre reports, noting the theme of this year’s day is “Innovate to End Child Pneumonia” (11/12). “Pneumonia remains the single biggest killer of children under [five] globally, claiming the lives of more than one million girls and boys every year,” a joint press release from the organizations states (11/12). “Most of the pneumonia deaths occur in developing countries,” VOA News writes, noting  younger children are more vulnerable, as well as those who are malnourished or HIV-infected (11/12). “Global health advocates … commemorated the fifth annual World Pneumonia Day by calling on global leaders to scale up existing interventions and invest in new diagnostics and treatments to defeat pneumonia,” a press release from the International Vaccine Access Center states (11/13). Xinhua highlights interventions recommended by the U.N. and partners to prevent and treat pneumonia: “[E]xclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding complemented by nutritious solid foods up to age two; vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis), measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcus; safe drinking water, sanitation and hand washing facilities; improved cooking stoves to reduce indoor air pollution; and treatment, including amoxicillin dispersible tablets and oxygen” (11/13).