8 million childhood deaths caused by preventable illnesses
Worldwide nearly eight million childhood and teen deaths occur by preventable illnesses. Analysis revealed that six million deaths occurred for preventable and treatable conditions such as diarrhea, malaria, and respiratory tract infections.
Authors of the Global Burden of Disease Pediatrics Collaboration said, “The vast majority of deaths in children and adolescents are preventable. Proven interventions exist to prevent diarrheal and respiratory diseases, neonatal conditions, iron deficiency anemia and road injuries, which result in some of the highest burdens of unnecessary death and disability among children and adolescents.”
Researchers worldwide used data from a variety of sources from 188 countries. Statistics from the report uncovered:
- Respiratory infections, preterm birth complications, malaria, diarrhea, and neonatal encephalopathy – a neurological disorder in infants – were the leading causes of death among children younger than five.
- Kids aged five to nine accounted for 500,000 deaths. Diarrhea was the most common cause of death in this age range, followed by lower respiratory tract infections, road injuries, malaria, and intestinal infectious diseases such as typhoid.
- Nearly one million deaths involved children aged 10 to 19. More than one-third of these deaths was caused by road injuries, HIV/AIDS, self-harm, drowning and intestinal infectious diseases.
- Half of the diarrhea deaths around the world occurred in five countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
- Anemia – marked by an abnormally low red blood cell count – was the leading cause of long-term disability among children and teens, affecting 619 million young people
The findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics.