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 Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>