World Pneumonia Day– We are championing the fight against pneumonia!
World Pneumonia Day, marked every year on November 12, was established by the Stop Pneumonia Initiative in 2009 to raise awareness about the toll of pneumonia – a leading killer of children around the world – and to advocate for global action to protect against, help prevent and effectively treat this deadly illness.
This year on the 10th anniversary of World Pneumonia Day – 12 November 2019 – we are championing the fight against pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a leading killer of young children
- Pneumonia continues to be the #1 infectious killer of children under the age of five worldwide – more than HIV, TB, Zika, Ebola, and malaria
- In 2016, nearly 900,000 children worldwide died from pneumonia before their 5th
- Today, we celebrate our 10th World Pneumonia Day – and we have reason to reflect on our progress. This year, pneumonia will claim the lives of over half a million fewer children than it did each year when we first recognized World Pneumonia Day.
- Worldwide, pneumonia, a leading killer of children under the age of five, claims the lives of 2,400 young children every day – 100 children every hour. Pneumonia claims one young child every 36 seconds.
- People of any age, in every country, are at risk of contracting pneumonia, but a disproportionate number of all childhood deaths from pneumonia occur in impoverished countries, due to conflict, poverty, and weak health systems.
- For children who acquire pneumonia in developing countries, 70% of deaths could be prevented with appropriate antibiotic treatment that costs $0.40 for a course of treatment.
- Equity: Girls in South Asia are 43% more likely to die from pneumonia than are boys.
- Equity: To make progress in reducing the number of pneumonia-related deaths, significant efforts need to be made to equitably reach, immunize, and provide health services for those hard-to-reach children. This is the only way we can reach our goals of ending preventable child deaths.
- Progress: Interventions to prevent and treat pneumonia work! In the last three decades, millions of children’s lives have been saved thanks to access to vaccines, antibiotics, and oxygen. Scaling up pneumonia efforts in the past decade have led to progress – each day, 1,000 fewer children died from pneumonia in 2016 than they did in 2009.
Pneumonia and the global goals
- As world leaders work to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this is the time to take action to make investments that will improve child health. Investing in pneumonia interventions can directly help us achieve multiple SDGs: SDG 3 – Good health and well-being, SDG 1 – No poverty, and SDG 10 – No inequalities.
Call to action
World Pneumonia Day is an opportunity to act on behalf of all the world’s children. Now is the time to invest in child health and save young lives. We must hold governments accountable and provide families everywhere with the tools they need to prevent and treat pneumonia and other illnesses. Everyone has a role to play.
- Donors must continue and scale up investments to 1) support the identification of the root causes of inequity, and 2) enable the development and implementation of targeted solutions to address those inequities that exist. The global community must create a comprehensive, integrated strategy that addresses the necessary system-level changes to support these highest burden countries in efforts to achieve GAPPD targets for all children
- Governments can prioritize child health and invest in the fight against pneumonia and diarrhea. They can increase funding to: 1) scale-up existing programs to prevent and treat pneumonia, 2) develop new tools to fight pneumonia, 3) evaluate programs and monitor progress, 4) increase the frequency of collection and the quality of data on progress to aid decision making, and 5) develop programs targeted to areas of inequitable distribution of pneumonia vaccination and treatments.
- Governments must address inequalities in the distribution of pneumonia prevention and treatments to at-risk children, irrespective of gender and among those living in poverty and in remote locations.
- Citizens can hold governments accountable and demand they prioritize child health so all families have the tools they need to help their children fight common illnesses.
- Health workers can continue to employ evidence-based approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat pneumonia. They can also educate policymakers and the public about the prevalence and consequence of the illness.
- Researchers need to invest in collecting timely data in all regions to better understand the locations and causes of inequities within each country. Researcher must continue to explore innovations, particularly those that address inequities of access to pneumonia vaccines, diagnostics and medicine. Providing families with the tools they need to keep their children healthy will increase the well-being of families, communities, and countries.