News / Health

New UNICEF Campaign Targets Pneumonia, Diarrhea

UNICEF Calls for Global Action Against Pneumonia, Diarrheai
|| 0:00:00
X
Vidushi Sinha
June 08, 2012 11:44 AM
UNICEF is launching a major global health campaign to tackle the two leading killers of children under the age of five. A new report by the UN agency says finding more effective ways to prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhea can significantly reduce childhood mortality worldwide. VOA’s Vidushi Sinha has more.

UNICEF Calls for Global Action Against Pneumonia, Diarrhea

Vidushi Sinha
UNICEF is launching a major global health campaign to tackle the two leading killers of children under the age of five. The agency's new report says finding more effective ways to prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhea can significantly reduce childhood mortality worldwide.

Global campaign

Prompt and effective antibiotic treatment saved a child suffering from acute pneumonia. Not everyone is so lucky.  In many poor regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, pneumonia and diarrhea together account for one third of the deaths among children under five.
 
With the new report, UNICEF officials hope to launch a new global campaign against pneumonia and diarrhea. The campaign will focus on these two preventable illnesses as part of a broader plan to improve the welfare of children worldwide.
 
Killer infections

 UNICEF's Holly Newby says the two killer infections have not previously received the public attention they deserve.

“Because these are such major killers of children we have to tackle these in a serious way.  It's important to bear one point in mind though, and that is unlike some of the other diseases that have risen to prominence, diarrhea and pneumonia are quite complicated to deal with,” she explained.

The report notes that only one third of children diagnosed with pneumonia receive antibiotics. As a result, the respiratory infection kills a child somewhere in the world every minute.

“The price of inaction is staggering,” said Dr. Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health.

With UNICEF support, he is leading a campaign to distribute pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines, which Levine says can protect children throughout the developing world against pneumonia and diarrhoea. “For us the work is only just begun so what we are doing is racing to try and make sure that the vaccine gets out to the children who need it the most as quickly as it can," he explained. "We hope that by 2015 as many as 50 million kids could be immunized with this vaccine.”
 
Challenges


UNICEF officials say the campaign will be a complex challenge.

"Now is the time to put pneumonia and diarrhea back on the agenda in a serious way," Newby stated.
 
“One of the issues with pneumococcus is there are 90 different strains of the bacteria,"
added Levine.

According to the UNICEF report, prevention and treatment of the two infections will involve similar strategies:  increasing the distribution of vaccines and antibiotics, encouraging breastfeeding, expanding access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and disseminating oral rehydration salts to children with diarrhea.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid