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What is the leading cause of child mortality?

The article by Our World in Data, Pneumonia – no child should die from a disease we can prevent, by Bernadeta Dadonaite (11/12/19) reports:

Every 39 seconds a child dies from pneumonia.

5.4 million children under five years old died in 2017. Pneumonia was the cause of death of one-in-seven of them. . . pneumonia is the leading cause of child mortality globally and has been the leading cause for the past three decades.

What is the distribution of deaths around the world:

As the map shows, children are most likely to die from pneumonia across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Just 5 countries — India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia – accounted for more than half of all deaths from childhood pneumonia in 2017.

The disease is therefore most common in places where healthcare infrastructure is lacking and people are least able to afford treatment.

Progress but not enough:

The number of children dying from pneumonia has decreased substantially over the past three decades. In 1990, more than two million children died from pneumonia each year; by 2017 this number had fallen by almost two-thirds.

The post has three graphs with the data.

About Thomas J. Pfaff

Thomas J. Pfaff is a Professor of Mathematics at Ithaca College. He created this website because he believes that sustainability, ranging from climate change to social justice, should be included in all courses whenever possible.

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