Pneumonia and diarrhoea prevention can save millions of children: UN

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A woman swaddles her crying newborn in a camp in southern Pakistan where she received counselling on home-based treatments for diarrhoea, ante- and post-natal care education, and information on access to basic community health services.

Preventing and treating pneumonia and diarrhoea can help save the lives of more than two million children each year according to a new report released on Friday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the two leading causes of death among children under five.

The UNICEF report, "Pneumonia and diarrhoea: Tackling the deadliest diseases for the world's poorest children," identifies opportunities to narrow the child survival gap by increasing commitment, attention and funding.

Holly Newby is a UNICEF senior policy advisor.

"When it comes to something like diarrhoea and pneumonia we're talking about diseases that really need and require coordination across different sectors for example the nutrition sector, water and sanitation sector, health sector. So there isn't one silver bullet, we need to concentrate on both preventive measures as well as treatment measures."

Measures include increasing vaccine coverage, encouraging breastfeeding and hand-washing with soap, expanding drinking water and sanitation and disseminating oral rehydration salts to children with diarrhoea and antibiotics to children with pneumonia.

Duration: 21″

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