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Paediatr Respir Rev. 2005 Jun;6(2):83-7.

The burden of pneumonia in children in Latin America.

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Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, R. Ramiro Barcelos 2350 s. 415, CEP 90035003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Under-five mortality varies widely between countries, ranging from four to over 300 deaths/1000 live births. The World Summit for Children established the aim of a two-thirds reduction in worldwide child mortality by 2015. Progress toward this goal during 1990-2000 was variable between world regions. In 2000, 70% of the 1.89 million deaths of children under the age of 5 years due to acute respiratory infections occurred in developing countries. Among Latin American countries, Chile and Uruguay had the lowest percentage of deaths (5-10%), while Bolivia, Peru and Guyana had the highest (15-20%). Mortality rates due to lower respiratory infections have declined in most countries, increased in some and remained unacceptably high in others. To reach the 2015 goal of reducing mortality in the under-fives, effective interventions, such as breastfeeding and complementary feeding, Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine, zinc supplementation and the use of antibiotics to treat pneumonia need to be implemented in all Latin American countries.

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