24 Jan Tackling the ‘forgotten killer’
Vanessa is struggling to breathe. Her lungs are full of fluid, and she is anaemic and malnourished. She is on a drip and receiving a blood transfusion at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi. The eight-month-old has bacterial pneumonia.
Her mother and grandmother watch over her in the tiny acute room at the hospital which she shares with four other children – there is barely room to move in the cramped space.
Pneumonia has been called the forgotten killer. It does not get the same attention as HIV/Aids or malaria. Yet it claims the lives of more young children worldwide than both of them combined.