New vaccine introduced to protect Pakistani children from pneumonia

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A woman swaddles her crying newborn in a camp in southern Pakistan. UNICEF

Pakistan on Tuesday became the first country in South Asia to introduce a vaccine to protect children from pneumonia.

The initiative has been launched by the Pakistani Ministry of Health, the GAVI Alliance, which is a public-private global health partnership, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.

UNICEF spokesperson, Marixie Mercado says that pneumonia is the leading killer of children in the world, accounting for 18 per cent of child deaths globally.

"There are four countries in the world that account for more than 50 per cent of these deaths and Pakistan is one of them. In Pakistan, there are over 350,000 children who died each year due to largely preventable causes and pneumonia is the cause behind about 20 of them, 19 per cent of them to be exact."

Duration: 19"

The GAVI Alliance says it is hoped that by 2015 the vaccine will be in 50 developing countries.

The programmes to vaccinate children have been made possible with $4.3 billion from donor governments.

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
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