Review articleAcute respiratory infections

King George's Medical University

The current status of community-acquired pneumonia management and prevention in children under 5 years of age in India: a review

Yadav KK, Awasthi S

Ther Adv Infect Dis. 2016 Jun;3(3-4):83-97


India has the highest number of global deaths of children under 5 years of age. In the year 2015, it was reported that there were 5.9 million deaths of children under 5 years of age globally, of which 1.2 million (20%) occurred in India alone. Currently, India has an under 5 mortality rate of 48 per 1000 live births. Community-acquired pneumonia contributes to about one sixth of this mortality. Fast breathing is the key symptom of community-acquired pneumonia. The World Health Organization recently categorized community-acquired pneumonia in children under 5 years of age into two, pneumonia, and severe pneumonia. Fast breathing with or without chest in-drawing is categorized as pneumonia and fast breathing with any of danger signs as severe pneumonia. Because effective vaccines against two of the common organisms causing community-acquired pneumonia, namely Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b, are available, there should be urgent and phased introduction into the Indian Universal Immunization Programme. Several preventable risk factors of community-acquired pneumonia such as lack of exclusive breast feeding for first 6 months of life, inappropriate complimentary feeding, iron deficiency anemia, malnutrition, and indoor air pollution should be adequately addressed. The community should be aware about the signs and symptoms of community-acquired pneumonia and its danger signs so that delay in qualified care seeking can be avoided. To achieve the sustainable development goal of ⩽25 under five deaths per 1000 live births by 2030, a multipronged approach is the need of the hour.

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