Pneumonia kills 2 children per hour in Bangladesh: Report

Dhaka, May 30 (UNB)- Pneumonia is still the leading cause of death among children under five in Bangladesh killing two children on average every hour, according to a report published Wednesday.

The third annual launch of ‘Global Childhood Report 2019’ by Save the Children Bangladesh at Jatiya Press Club revealed the situation.

Bangladesh is positioned at 127 out of 176 countries with the overall decreasing rate of child mortality at an impressive 63 percent.

According to the report, since 2000, Bangladesh has the highest reduction rate of children mortality in South Asia at 63 percent. Other countries with closest reduction rate are Bhutan at 60 percent, Nepal at 59 percent and India at 57 percent.

Dr Ishtiaq Mannan, Deputy Country Director of Save the Children Bangladesh, said, “Children born in Bangladesh today have a much better chance of growing up healthy, happy, educated and protected, than they did 20 years ago.”

However, he said that tackling the threat of Pneumonia, especially among remote rural communities, remains a challenge for everyone.

Dr Sabbir Ahmed, Advisor to Save the Children Bangladesh, pointed out that malnutrition, pre-existing illness and environmental pollutions as three key factors responsible for Pneumonia.

“According to WHO Health Observatory, Pneumonia claimed lives of approximately 16,960 children in 2016 in the country. Globally, 16 percent of the total under-five deaths were due to Pneumonia the same year,” he said.

Sabbir also said Bangladesh has scopes to improve the scenario as good progress has been made in immunisation coverage.

Save the Children Bangladesh suggested inclusion on pneumococcal vaccine in the government’s routine EPI system to protect the majority of the children.

Launched ahead of International Children’s Day, Save the Children’s Global Childhood Report 2019 includes the annual End of Childhood Index, which finds that circumstances for children have improved in 173 out of 176 countries since 2000.

The report also shows that displacement due to conflict is on the rise, with 30.5 million more forcibly displaced people now than there were in 2000 – an 80 percent increase. 

Singapore tops the rankings as the country that best protects and provides for its children, with eight Western European countries and South Korea also ranking in the top 10.

The most dramatic progress was among some of the world’s poorest countries, with Sierra Leone making the biggest improvements since 2000, followed by Rwanda, Ethiopia and Niger.

The Central African Republic ranks last, with Niger – despite recent progress – and Chad rounding out the bottom three countries where childhoods are most threatened.