TOBACCO CONTROL CHALLENGES
people each year are killed by Tobacco-related diseases
Of 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, more than 50 cause cancer
Close to half of all children
regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke
is the single
most preventable cause
of death worldwide
According to WHO, acute lower respiratory infections (ALRIs) or pneumonia account for more than 20% of deaths among children under five years of age. Pneumonia is the number one killer of young children worldwide and responsible for more than 1.5 million childhood deaths each year. Pneumonia or ALRI includes bacterial pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchiolitis, but bacterial pneumonia is responsible for the majority (around 90%) of the deaths despite being treatable with inexpensive antibiotics, and hypoxia management when indicated.
The importance of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV-related lung disease such as Pneumocystis pneumonia has more recently been recognised, especially in regions with a high pneumonia-related mortality that are also endemic for TB and HIV. Further, there is increasing incidence of asthma among children in low-income countries where management options are very limited. These problems have created an enormous challenge for health systems in resource-limited settings and emphasise the need for clear and effective guidelines for prevention and management.
Child lung health has been a focus of The Union for the past 15 years. The Child Lung Health Division was established in 1996 and has developed a method for delivering training and implementation for health services in low-income countries to improve the care and outcome for children under five years of age with pneumonia. The Child Lung Health Division has also supported the development of guidelines for management of child TB, TB/HIV, HIV-related lung disease and asthma.