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Global Health Funders Should Prioritize Addressing Pneumonia, Other Preventable Childhood Diseases

Financial Times: Why some killer diseases are overlooked
Simon Kuper, life & arts columnist at the Financial Times

“…[W]hy do some diseases get tackled while others don’t? This is partly a story of the attention economy. … More attention generally means more funding, and fewer deaths. … The attention economy also attracts money to diseases that can feasibly be eradicated. This is a goal that excites donors. Polio (37 reported cases in 2016) and guinea-worm disease (30 reported cases in 2017) could soon disappear. The last remaining cases attract fortunes in funding. Meanwhile, pneumonia remains mostly ignored. … [D]ifficult as pneumonia is, it’s fixable. … As other diseases retreat, we are moving up the chain of harder-to-reach, poor people’s killers. The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, shaped partly by lobbyists for different diseases, set the remarkable target of ending ‘preventable’ deaths of children by 2030. … Here is humanity’s next step forward” (2/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.