Despite improvements in child survival in recent decades, children in low- and middle-income countries still suffer from illnesses virtually nonexistent in the industrial world.
Pneumonia is the deadliest of these, responsible for the death of 900,000 children under five worldwide in 2013—more than any other infectious disease.
This post originally appeared on the Frontline Health Workers Coalition blog.
I grew up in a village in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and although I’m now a doctor and live in Kinshasa, I remember those days well.
I know what it’s like to live 23 kilometers from the nearest health center and to navigate forests and floods to get there. I know how a lack of something simple like antibiotics can cause a quick death. I’ve lost many peers from the village over the years and a lot of family members.
In fact, that’s why I became a physician.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month in the US, and the 17th is World Prematurity Day. But I never need any reminders about the importance of access to medicines and services for premature babies. Every November, I celebrate the birthday of my own little preemie. On November 30, 1997, I went into labor just after reaching 32 weeks. I was terrified. I had had a healthy second pregnancy up to that point and my doctor did not believe me at first when I told her I was in labor.
This post originally appeared on SIAPSProgram.org. Accounting for more than one million under-five deaths each year, pneumonia is the leading killer of children under the age of five worldwide, claiming more lives than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. This year’s World Pneumonia Day (WPD) theme is “universal access to pneumonia prevention and care”. In commemoration of WPD, child health advocates are calling for pneumonia control through proven interventions that protect against, prevent, and treat pneumonia.