Globally, pneumonia and diarrhea together cause nearly one in every four deaths that occur in children under five in 2016. The report on Pneumonia and Diarrhea 2018 – released before the 10th World Pneumonia Day, on 12 November, by The International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health School – outlines efforts to combat pneumonia and diarrhea in 15 countries with the largest number of deaths from these diseases.
This report analyzes how effectively countries provide or ensure the use of 10 key interventions, including exclusive breastfeeding, vaccination, access to antibiotic treatment and use, oral rehydration solutions, and zinc supplements to help prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhea. These steps are known to help protect children from deaths due to these diseases and can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals target to reduce under-five deaths by at least 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030.
The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report, published annually by IVAC for almost a decade, found that even though countries are progressing towards increasing vaccine coverage, they are truly lagging in an effort to treat childhood diseases – especially among remote populations , poor, or otherwise left behind.
"Progress to stop child mortality is being hampered by persistent injustice in countries around the world," said Kate O & # 39; Brien, MD, MPH, a professor in Bloomberg's International Department of Health and IVAC executive director. "Overcoming this injustice will require greater funding levels, strong political commitment, accountability supported by better data, and coordinated global efforts that prioritize the most vulnerable."
Eight of the 15 countries assessed as failing to meet targets for every 10 interventions to protect and treat pneumonia and diarrhea, as outlined in the World Health Organization and UNICEF's Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD). Two of these countries meet the target coverage rate of 90% for at least four vaccines. In the treatment steps, none of the 15 countries have been able to reach the targeted 90% coverage level.
For the first time, the annual report reviews multilevel national data, revealing injustices in how well countries provide life-saving interventions for children by sex, place of residence (ie urban or rural), maternal education, and wealth.
The authors conclude that to accelerate progress, the government must collect better data regularly. The global community must prioritize increasing access to prevention and treatment interventions for children who are now unreached. Helpers must continue or increase support for proven solutions – or risk progress. Finally, integrating strategies related to the health, poverty and education systems can produce opportunities to improve justice in many countries.