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Childhood diseases

deaths a day worldwide

3 million
deaths a year, WHO estimates

Root causes Poverty, geography, politics, civil turmoil, and limited funds hinder care.
Who’s affected Pre-adolescent children, although adults can also contract the same illnesses.
Where they are The majority live in developing countries where vaccination coverage is insufficient because of poverty, geography, and political or civil turmoil.

What can be done

Measles vaccine Per dose
Malawi boosted immunization coverage to 90 percent in 2002 from 50 percent in 1980. For the first time ever, no measles deaths were reported in 1999.

Tetanus vaccine 3 doses for mother
Bangladesh increased coverage for mothers to 86 percent in 1998 from 5 percent in 1986; during the same period, the death rate fell to 4 per 1,000 live births from 41.

Oral rehydration salts Per dose
In Mexico, since the introduction of oral rehydration therapy in 1984, mortality rates for diarrheal diseases fell by 60 percent in less than a decade.

NOTE: The vaccines are DTP3, the third dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine; MCV, the measles-containing vaccine; and POL3, the third dose of polio vaccine.
Access to safe water, 2000 data.
Health care spending, 2000 data. Includes government and private health expenditure.

Graphic: Globe Staff