The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine which protects children from pneumonia, and a leading cause of death in under five children was launched Sunday at Adhare hospital in Hawassa town. Globally more than 1.6 million children are dying due to pneumonia. The disease is responsible for one in every five children deaths, or 18 percent of under-five mortality, worldwide. Some 98 percent of children who die of pneumonia live in developing countries-south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa account for account for 85 percent.
In Ethiopia pneumonia is one of the major health problems affecting the population and the number one killer of children. International statistics also indicate that Ethiopia is one of the ten countries with the largest number of proportions of pneumonia cases. According to the health minister Dr tewodros Adhanom, pneumonia accounts for 28 percent of deaths of under five children, followed by diaria (20 percent) and measles (4 percent).