oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Pneumonia : the forgotten killer : editorial

Volume 24, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



Worldwide, pneumonia causes more deaths in children under the age of 5 years than any other illness. It takes the life of one child every 15 seconds - more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. It's the children of Africa and Asia who feel the burden most. They make up an estimated 98% of the two million pneumonia-related deaths that occur each year in children under 5 worldwide. Until recently, this killer largely loomed below the radar, with many parents, clinicians and policymakers remaining unaware of the breadth of the epidemic, dubbed 'the forgotten killer'.

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