Guest Editorial

Childhood pneumonia – the Drakenstein Child Health Study

Heather Jessica Zar, Whitney Barnett, Landon Myer, Mark P Nicol

Abstract


Advances in immunisation, improvements in socioeconomic status and effective HIV prevention and treatment strategies have reduced the population burden of childhood pneumonia and severe disease. However, pneumonia remains the major single cause of death in children outside the neonatal period, causing approximately 1 million deaths annually, or 15% of an estimated 6.3 million deaths in children aged under 5 years. This burden is disproportionately high in low- and middle-income countries and in Africa, where almost 50% of deaths in children aged  under 5 years occur, despite African children comprising only 25% of live births globally. Pneumonia incidence and severity are highest in the first year of life, especially in the first 6 months.


Authors' affiliations

Heather Jessica Zar, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Medical Research Council Unit on Child and Adolescent Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Whitney Barnett, Medical Research Council Unit on Child and Adolescent Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Landon Myer, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Mark P Nicol, Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and National Health Laboratory Service, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Childhood pneumonia; Vaccination; Drakenstein Child Health Study; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(7):642-643. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i7.11108

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-06-01
Date published: 2016-06-15

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