SURVIVAL: The Struggle to Breathe 41:00, 2018 (Ref: AS08729)


Without antibiotics, young children in the Philippines are easy prey to pneumonia, the world’s biggest killer. In this BBC film we see that many of them live on rubbish dumps making charcoal and living in hovels. Health care is not available and the authorities don’t seem to care about them. They desperately need intensive hospital treatment and rapid access to antibiotics. But most victims, like six-month-old Mary, come from desperately poor families. Her parents and siblings scavenge the streets for waste plastic and cardboard, barely making enough money to feed themselves, let alone to pay for her drugs and hospital fees. And their health is put in even more danger by severe air pollution. While poverty remains a critical problem, there are some new initiatives. Programmes to train members of the community to rapidly diagnose pneumonia should speed up access to antibiotics. And new designs of stoves can halve the amount of indoor pollution. Small but important steps to combat the disease which kills more children under five than any other.