Podemos salvar a millones de niños

GINEBRA – Si le preguntamos a la gente cuáles son las dos causas principales de muerte infantil, es casi seguro que muchos responderán: la malaria y el VIH. Pero en realidad son la neumonía y la diarrea, los llamados “asesinos olvidados”, que cada año se cobran más de dos millones de vidas entre los más vulnerables.

Sumadas, ambas enfermedades provocan el 29% de todas las muertes de niños de menos de cinco años de edad; es decir, más de dos veces el total combinado del VIH y la malaria, y casi tanto como el resto de las enfermedades infecciosas, lesiones y trastornos posnatales tomados en conjunto.

Más allá de la sorpresa que puedan causar estas cifras, hay algo que quizá le resulte todavía más sorprendente: la neumonía y la diarrea son muy fáciles de prevenir, tanto que se podrían tomar medidas para que de aquí a 2025 la mortalidad combinada de ambas se reduzca casi a cero. Que es precisamente lo que estamos tratando de hacer ahora.

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