GAPPD: ending preventable child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea by 2025
The goal of the newly released Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) is to reduce deaths from pneumonia to fewer than 3 children per 1000 live births, and from diarrhea to less than 1 in 1000 by 2025. We already know what works: exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months, vaccines, handwashing, safe drinking water, and appropriate treatments, among other solutions. However, too often the children most at risk – in poor settings or hard-to-reach communities – don’t receive these interventions. Only a third of children who fall sick with diarrhoea receive the right care, for example. This report from WHO and UNICEF and others goes to the heart of the challenge: recognizing that prevention and control of pneumonia and diarrhoea can only be tackled through integrated programmes. That will reduce the numbers of children falling ill and dying, but also bring more efficient and effective use of often scarce health resources. We can do much better. National governments are urged to take the lead in directing action to implement the GAPPD in order to move the needle significantly in achieving the Millennium Development Goal to save the lives of children under the age of five, as well as successfully implementing the UN Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, and the Promise Renewed commitment to child survival.