Since 2009 I’ve taken notice of World Pneumonia Day in this blog, which falls on November 12th each year. Its founders, and allied public health agencies, hope to raise awareness of this often-preventable disease.
Leading the charge in this campaign is The Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia which describes itself as “a global network of more than 125 NGOs, community‐based organizations, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations.”
From the World Health Organization:
12 November 2012
World Pneumonia Day seeks to raise awareness of pneumonia as a public health issue and help prevent the millions of avoidable child deaths from pneumonia that occur each year. It is organized by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia (a network of international, government, non-governmental and community-based organizations, research and academic institutions, foundations, and individuals) to bring much-needed attention to pneumonia among donors, policy makers, health care professionals, and the general public.
And from the CDC:
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Globally, pneumonia causes more deaths than any other infectious disease. It can often be prevented and can usually be treated.
Every 20 seconds, somewhere in the world, a child dies from pneumonia. Many of these deaths are preventable through vaccination and appropriate treatment.
And for a last stop, this year’s pneumonia progress report from the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP), issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2009, reported that child pneumonia deaths could be reduced by two-thirds if these interventions were scaled up to reach 90 percent coverage targets.
Key Takeaways from the 2012 Pneumonia Progress Report
- Bangladesh and Tanzania are no longer amongst the top 15 countries with the greatest number of child pneumonia deaths, and have been replaced by Mali and the aggregated Sudan and South Sudan (analyzed together at the time of data collection). Tanzania and Bangladesh remain high mortality countries, at 16th and 17th, respectively, worldwide.
- Combined coverage scores for the GAPP interventions range from a low of 39% in Ethiopia to a high of 79% in aggregated Sudan and South Sudan, among the 15 countries profiled.
- None of the countries profiled have reached the 90% GAPP target for each intervention.
- While significant progress in the area of vaccination has been made, more work is needed. Currently, only 7 of the 15 countries have vaccine coverage levels at or above 80 percent.
- Coverage of breastfeeding and access to antibiotics are also low in most countries.
More targeted and effective work is needed to scale up life-saving interventions if we are to successfully combat the world’s leading killer of young children.
Get the Full Report
Download the complete 2012 Pneumonia Progress Report (PDF).