Pneumonia will kill nearly 11 million under-fives by 2030, experts warned Monday on a global day with the aim of raising awareness of the largest infectious killer of babies worldwide.
Although the severe lung infection mainly affects the elderly in the developed world, when developing nations, there are children who drain the dirty, with hundreds of thousands die each year an easily preventable disease.
Over 880,000 children – mostly under the age of two years – have only died of pneumonia in 2016.
A new analysis carried out by the Johns Hopkins University and the Save the Children support group using current trends forecasts shows that more than 10,800,000 under fails fall to the disease by the end of the next decade.
In addition, a handful of countries are responsible for carrying the highest burdens, with 1.7 million children killed in Nigeria and India, 700,000 in Pakistan and 635,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Yet there are some good news.
The study, published on Pneumonia & World Day, found that the scaling of existing vaccination, along with free antibiotics and good nutrition for children could total 4.1 million lives.
Pneumonia, an infection that can be contracted through viral infection or bacteria can be treated if it is caught early enough and that the patient's immune system is not compromised.
But globally, it turns young children who are often weak by malnutrition, killing more babies every year than combining malaria, diarrhea and measles.
"It's believed that nearly a million children die every year of disease that we have the information and resources we have to be defeated," said Kevin Watkins, Save the Children's Chief Executive.
"There are no pink ribbons, global summits or pneumonia marks. But anyone who cares for justice for children and their access to essential healthcare, this forgotten killer be the definitive cause of our age. "
Watkins, who implements health programs in some of the countries that are hit by the disease, and calls for "prammically reduced" pneumonia vaccines.
The target date for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is 2030, which includes a promise to "the end of childbirths that can be stopped" by the end of the next decade.