Pneumonia may kill over 17 lakh children in India by 2030: Study

According to global study released by UK-based NGO ‘Save the Children’, more than 17 lakh children in India are likely to die of pneumonia by 2030, despite the infection being easily curable. The study was released on occasion of World Pneumonia Day (observed on November 12).

Key Highlights of Study

  • Pneumonia is likely to kill over one crore children under five by 2030. Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are likely to bear highest burden of deaths.
  • More than 40 lakhs of these deaths, over a third, could be easily averted with concerted action to improve rates of vaccination, treatment and nutrition.
  • The forecasts were based on model developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, US called Lives Saved Tool (LiST).
  • The forecasts show that nearly 10,865,728 children will die by 2030 on current trends, with highest burden of deaths in Nigeria (1,730,000), India (1,710,000), Pakistan (706,000), and Democratic Republic of Congo (635,000).
  • Scaling up vaccination coverage to 90% of children under age of five could save 610,000 lives, providing cheap antibiotics could save 1.9 million and ensuring children have good nutrition could save 2.5 million lives.


The year 2030 is target date for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes ambitious global pledge to ‘end preventable child deaths’ and achieve Universal Health Coverage. Pneumonia is biggest infectious killer for children globally, killing more than malaria, diarrhoea and measles combined. As many 880,000 children, mostly under age of two, died from the disease in 2016.


  • It is form of acute respiratory infection that affects lungs. It is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs.
  • Lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when healthy person breathes. ‎When an individual has pneumonia, alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
  • Causes: It is caused by number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae (most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children), ‎Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia), ‎Respiratory syncytial virus is most common viral cause of pneumonia.
  • Treatment: Vaccinations are available against several common organisms that are known to cause pneumonia. Besides, antibiotics can also treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection.




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