Pneumonia claimed the lives of more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year, or one child every 39 seconds, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.
As the World Pneumonia Day is marked every year on Nov. 12, this year six leading health and children's organizations have launched an appeal for global action on the Day, according to UNICEF's press release.In January, the group will host world leaders at the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in Spain.
"Every day, nearly 2,200 children under the age of five die from pneumonia, a curable and mostly preventable disease. Strong global commitment and increased investments are critical to the fight against this disease," said Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF.
"Only through cost-effective protective, preventative and treatment interventions delivered to where children are will we be able to truly save millions of lives," she added.
According to the press release, most deaths occurred among children under the age of two, and almost 153,000 within the first month of life.
More than half of child pneumonia deaths were in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, it said.