Pneumonia robs 20 SA children of the breath of life daily

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Pneumonia robs 20 SA children of the breath of life daily

Pneumonia deaths are still unacceptably high and responsible for about 12% of SA child mortality, says expert

Journalist

Coronavirus may be hogging the headlines, but a new study has sounded the alarm about another respiratory disease that kills about 20 children in SA daily.

Prof Heather Zar, head of paediatrics and child health at the University of Cape Town and Red Cross Children’s Hospital, is one of the authors of a paper published in The Lancet (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(19)30545-5/fulltext) that reveals seasonal influenza is one of the major drivers of acute lower respiratory infections in children under the age of five.

More than a decade ago, SA introduced a vaccine that protects children from severe forms of pneumonia and meningitis, but coverage is only about 73%, and Zar said pneumonia deaths were still “unacceptably high and responsible for about 12% of child mortality in SA”...

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