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Pneumonia is the leading cause of death of young children worldwide

Pneumoniaistheleadingcauseofdeathofyoungchildrenworldwide

Unicef states number of dead under five years with 2200 per day.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under the age of five worldwide.On Tuesday, the United Nations Children's Fund Unicef, together with other aid organizations, drew attention to the fact that around 800,000 children under the age of five die each year from pneumonia. The "forgotten epidemic" is thus more dangerous for the young children than diarrheal diseases (437,000 deaths) and malaria (272,000 deaths).

Although pneumonia is a largely preventable and, above all, well-to-cure disease, it killed nearly 2,200 children under the age of five every day, UNICEF said. That's on average one such death every 39 seconds. Only five countries account for half of all deaths: Nigeria with 162,000, India with 127,000, Pakistan with 58,000, the Democratic Republic of Congo with 40,000 and Ethiopia with 32,000 cases.

Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The children suffer from shortness of breath, while pus and other fluids accumulate in their lungs. Prevention is possible with vaccinations, treatment with affordable antibiotics .

"This is a forgotten global epidemic for which an international response is urgently needed," said Kevin Watkins of Save the Children, a charity dedicated to World Anti-Pneumonia Day. The current shortage of vaccines, antibiotics and oxygen treatments result in the deaths of millions of children. At the end of January, a global forum will be held in Barcelona to fight pneumonia in children.