India lost 2.6 lakh children under the age of five years to pneumonia, diarrhoea in 2016: Report

NEW DELHI: India’s vaccination coverage to prevent rotavirus infection, a leading cause of severe diarrhoea in young children, was the lowest among the 15 countries which introduced it last year, a new report said Friday. It also pointed that India lost over 2.6 lakh children under five years from pneumonia and diarrhoea in 2016.

The report found health systems falling “woefully short” in ensuring that the most vulnerable children have access to prevention and treatment services in the 15 countries. Including India, that account for 70 per cent of global pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths in children under five.

Despite significant reductions in disease in recent years because of improvements in access and use of health interventions, nearly half a million pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths still occurred in two countries – India and Nigeria, it said.

The number of deaths of children under five years due to pneumonia in 2016 was 1,58,176, while diarrhoea deaths was 1,02,813, the report said.

Released ahead of the 10th annual World Pneumonia Day on November 12, the 2018 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report — by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — describes progress in fighting these two diseases in 15 countries. (AGENCIES)