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The World in Medicine
December 16, 2009

Fatal Pneumonia in Children

JAMA. 2009;302(23):2531. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1842

An initiative launched last month by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund is targeting pneumonia, the world's largest cause of child deaths.

Pneumonia kills 1.8 million children younger than 5 years every year, 98% of them in 68 developing countries, but relatively few resources are devoted to the problem, the WHO said. The agency noted that implementing recommendations in the new Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) can prevent 5.3 million such deaths by 2015 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241596336_eng.pdf).

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