Pneumonia Report Card shows prevention, treatment tools not widely adopted in countries where disease kills most children

February 20, 2016

The struggle with the pneumonia vaccine has been that the "children who need it most have not been the ones receiving it," Levine said. But that's improving because better funding levels from the GAVI Alliance and other sources, have allowed the vaccine to "ship to St. Louis and Sierra Leone in the same year," he added.

Sadruddin focused on the role health workers in developing countries can play in reducing child mortality form pneumonia. Education for mothers is also important since they are usually the ones who decide when to get treatment for sick children, he said.

Peterson recounted the experience of losing her daughter to pneumonia just before her sixth birthday. She urged education about the vaccine, noting that her daughter was not vaccinated.

Levine also discussed various issues about pneumonia advocacy. "A lot of what's been missing is an organized movement," he said. But this year it's "really taking off," he said, noting the variety of awareness events from Kampala, Uganda, to Washington, D.C., to mark the day (Schiff, 11/12).

The following news outlets published stories looking at pneumonia in their countries.

The Daily Nation reports on the expect the launch of the PCV-10 pneumococcal vaccine in Kenya next year. PCV-10 "was licensed in 2000, has since been widely available in the West and in South Africa," according to the article. Kenyan researchers are also studying "whether vaccinating children offers additional protection to other members of the household" (Mwangi, 11/11).

The Times of India examines why pneumonia is a major killer of children in India. "Malnutrition, poverty, poor access to and inadequate healthcare services are responsible for the high death rate in children due to pneumonia. ... Another reason for fewer children with pneumonia receiving antibiotics is the selection of the drug by doctors," the Times of India writes (11/12).

A GAVI Alliance press release notes the World Pneumonia Day activities around the world (11/11).

This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.