A Global call to action on childhood pneumonia #WorldPneumoniaDay
Pneumonia claimed the lives of more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year, or one child every 39 seconds, according to a new analysis. Most deaths occurred among children under the age of two, and almost 153,000 within the first month of life. (1) Sounding the alarm about this forgotten epidemic, six leading health and children’s organisations are today launching an appeal for global action. (2)
A global call to action on childhood pneumonia
- Develop pneumonia control strategies as part of wider plans for universal health coverage and commit to reducing child pneumonia deaths to fewer than three per 1,000 live births, the target set by the Integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD).
- Strengthen quality primary health care and action on pneumonia as part of national multi-sectoral plans and through integrated strategies (including nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and air pollution), including at community level, focusing on the most deprived and marginalised children.
- Increase domestic government investment in health and nutrition (to at least 5% of GDP on health) and ensure that increased spending improves access to child health and nutrition services, including by removing user fees, addressing non-financial barriers to accessing care, and prioritising primary health services.
- Improve health governance by ensuring accountability, transparency and inclusiveness in planning, budgeting and expenditure monitoring, including for pneumonia control strategies.
- Accelerate vaccination coverage by supporting Gavi’s 2020 replenishment and ensuring the investment drives more equitable vaccination coverage and improves vaccine affordability.
- Enhance official development assistance by increasing allocations to child health services and advancing the achievement of universal health coverage (aligned with national priorities and plans), including through pledges as part of Gavi replenishment and Nutrition for Growth.
- Engage the private sector to improve access to affordable, quality vaccines, diagnostic tools, new antibiotics, medicines and medical oxygen, especially for the most deprived and marginalised children.
- Measure and report progress in achieving universal health coverage to promote accountability for the development of stronger health systems that deliver quality primary health care and reduce child deaths, including from pneumonia, as well as against SDG child survival and GAPPD targets.
- Prioritise research, development and innovation to improve access to the most affordable and cost-effective pneumonia prevention, diagnosis, referral and treatment technologies and services.
- Champion multi-sectoral partnerships between the child health and nutrition communities and the broader infection control, clean air, water, sanitation and hygiene, and development financing communities.
PREVENT pneumonia in children
- Increase vaccination coverage
- Reduce air pollution
- Improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene
PROTECT children from pneumonia
- Ensure adequate nutrition
- Improve breastfeeding practices
DIAGNOSE AND TREAT children with pneumonia
- Increase care seeking
- Scale up integrated service delivery and quality of care
- Ensure access to essential commodities
- Invest in health workers
- Achieve universal health coverage to deliver for all children
Fighting for Breath – A Call to Action to Stop Children Dying of Pneumonia
1- UNICEF analysis produced in September 2019, based on WHO and Maternal and Child Epidemiology Estimation Group (MCEE) interim estimates and the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation estimates for the year 2018.
2- ISGlobal, Save the Children, UNICEF, Every Breath Counts, Unitaid and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are calling for concrete commitments from high-burden countries and international donors to tackle pneumonia. Together with the ”la Caixa” Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, the group will host the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in Spain on 29-31 January.