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Efforts to combat pneumonia among 15 high-burdened countries fall short of recommended targets
Date:11/11/2010

ile 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 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 Eva
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Contact: Mala Persaud
mala.persaud@gmmb.com
202-572-2980
International Vaccine Access Center
Source:Eurekalert

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