Studies, Reviews and Research

Every Breath Counts in Nigeria: A coalition to accelerate reductions in child pneumonia deaths

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Save the Children UK,Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Pneumonia, the leading infectious killer of children under five, has been called a “forgotten killer,” “a neglected tragedy,” and a “global cause without champions.” Less than 5% of international Development Assistance for Health and just 3% of all infectious disease research spending, are allocated to pneumonia. The lack of funding and planning have contributed to slow progress meeting the target and just two countries—Bangladesh and Indonesia—are on track to achieve the GAPPD pneumonia target. At current rates of progress, an estimated 6.3 million children will die from pneumonia by 2030, and many low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs) will fail to achieve the sustainable development goal for child survival.

Experience suggests that further reductions in child mortality in LMICs will require approaches that are sensitive to the complex patterns of comorbidity between pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition, and cognizant of the rising challenges of rapid urbanization, vaccine hesitancy, air pollution, and the double burden of under and overnutrition. The case for harnessing existing mechanisms such as Gavi, the Global Fund, Unitaid, and the Global Financing Facility to better integrate vaccine delivery, nutrition, and community case management is increasingly compelling, and much more work is needed to align the efforts of international agencies engaged in child survival in the high‐burden countries.

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