Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Efforts to combat pneumonia among 15 high-burdened countries fall short of recommended targets

12.11.2010
Urgent action needed in the 15 countries responsible for three-quarters of child pneumonia deaths
A Pneumonia Report Card released today by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) on behalf of the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia reveals where urgent efforts are needed to reach target levels of coverage for the life-saving interventions that can prevent, protect against and treat pneumonia in children.

Pneumonia is the world's leading infectious killer of young children, taking the lives of nearly 1.6 million children under age five every year ¨C more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. The Pneumonia Report Card evaluates the pneumonia prevention, protection and treatment efforts of the 15 countries with the most child pneumonia deaths against the pneumonia intervention targets established in the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP), issued by WHO and UNICEF in 2009. According to GAPP, up to two-thirds of child pneumonia deaths could be prevented if at least 90 percent of children had access to a few simple, effective pneumonia interventions.

The 15 countries evaluated in the Report Card ¨C including Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda ¨C are responsible for nearly three-quarters of all pneumonia deaths. Children in these countries are anywhere from 17 to 400 times more likely to die of pneumonia than a child living in the United States.

The Report Card provides a total score for each country by evaluating data on seven key interventions identified by GAPP: Prevention measures, including the use of measles, pertussis, pneumococcal and Hib vaccines, respectively; protection measures, including rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life; and treatment, namely the rates of children with suspected pneumonia being taken to a health facility and of children with pneumonia receiving treatment with antibiotics. While the GAPP recommended that all countries reach 90 percent coverage on these interventions by 2015 in order to reach Millennium Development Goals targets for child survival, the Report Card finds that country scores range from a high of 61 percent to a low of 23 percent on these measures combined ¨C all well below GAPP targets.

"For the first time ever, we have a report tracking global progress against pneumonia, the leading killer of children worldwide. I'm optimistic that the report will help focus efforts on improving coverage and saving millions of lives," said Orin Levine, Executive Director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Many of the most affected countries plan to introduce new pneumonia vaccines, are expanding community-based case management and have ambitious plans for strengthening health systems. Going from planning to implementation requires funding and continued public attention to pneumonia. Our children deserve nothing less."

Safe and effective vaccines exist to provide protection against the primary causes of pneumonia deaths. The Report Card shows that while some pneumonia vaccines like measles and pertussis are already in widespread use, new pneumonia vaccines against Hib and pneumococcal infections have not yet been adopted in all countries. With support from the GAVI Alliance, nearly all of these countries are expected to increase coverage of existing vaccines, as well as introduce Hib and pneumococcal vaccines, in the next five years. For measles and pertussis vaccines, coverage is generally between 60-90 percent, which lends promise to the expectation that coverage can rapidly rise to these levels for the Hib and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

"Every 20 seconds, a child dies from pneumonia. That's 4,300 young lives lost every day, and nearly all of those are children from developing countries. We can prevent this tragedy," said Helen Evans, acting CEO of the GAVI Alliance. "Safe, effective vaccines exist that can save lives and also set up millions more children in the world's poorest countries for a healthy start to life. With the political will, we can fund those vaccines and other measures to turn the tide against pneumonia."

Generally, coverage levels for protection and treatment interventions ¨C including breastfeeding and treatment with antibiotics ¨C tend to be lower than coverage with immunizations, demonstrating that renewed efforts to raise these levels are urgently needed. Exclusive breastfeeding ¨C the key intervention to protecting against pneumonia in the GAPP ¨C is characterized by sub-optimal coverage levels ranging from <10 percent to 60 percent in the 15 countries with highest pneumonia disease burden. Interventions to treat pneumonia in the Report Card countries also fall far below GAPP target levels, with only <10 percent to 50 percent of infected children receiving antibiotics.

"Reaching every child with life-saving antibiotics is achievable and affordable. Working with health workers and governments around the world, Save the Children is helping assure that every child who needs treatment receives it," said Mary Beth Powers, Director of Save the Children's Campaign for Newborn and Child Survival. "Together, we can save the lives of millions of children."

Based on existing information, this Report Card shows that increases in coverage of all GAPP interventions are urgently needed. With support from the GAVI Alliance, introductions of Hib and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are expected to occur in the next five years in nearly all of these countries.

IVAC

IVAC's mission is to accelerate global access to life-saving vaccines through development and implementation of evidence-based policies. Drawing upon expertise and faculty from around the School, IVAC aims to create a convergence of the right vaccines in the right health systems, ensuring that millions more children will have the chance to grow into healthy, productive adults. IVAC projects are made possible by more than $50 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI Alliance.

The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia

The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia was established in April 2009. It seeks to bring focus on pneumonia as a public health issue and to prevent the millions of avoidable deaths from pneumonia that occur each year. The Coalition is grounded in a network of international government, nongovernmental and community©ased organizations, research and academic institutions, foundations, and individuals that have united to bring much©

eeded attention to pneumonia among donors, policy makers, health care professionals, and the general public. The Coalition will mark World Pneumonia Day on November 12, 2010.

Mala Persaud | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu/ivac

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>