n South African Medical Journal - Childhood pneumonia : the Drakenstein Child Health Study : guest editorial

Volume 106, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Advances in immunisation, improvements in socioeconomic status and effective HIV prevention and treatment strategies have reduced the population burden of childhood pneumonia and severe disease. However, pneumonia remains the major single cause of death in children outside the neonatal period, causing approximately around 1 million deaths annually, or 15% of an estimated 6.3 million deaths in children aged <5 years. This burden is disproportionately high in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in Africa, where almost 50% of deaths in children aged <5 years occur, despite African children comprising only 25% of live births globally. The incidence and severity of pneumonia are highest in the first year of life, especially in the first 6 months.

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