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World Pneumonia Day 2021: The Future of Pneumonia Prevention


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World Pneumonia Day

November 2021
Johns Hopkins University
Bloomberg School of Public Health

World Pneumonia Day: Protection through Vaccines Remains a Priority

We simply cannot afford to lose decades of hard-won progress in the prevention of childhood pneumonia that was achieved through access to the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). Despite the tremendous challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining coverage of life-saving vaccines like PCV remains a high priority for countries since they are a critical tool for reducing child mortality. No children should die prematurely from a disease that’s highly preventable and treatable with simple, known measures.

- Dr. William Moss, Executive Director at IVAC

IVAC Webinar Series: Thursday November 11, 10:00 am EST
The Future of Pneumonia Prevention: Building on the Success of Vaccines

Since World Pneumonia Day was established over a decade ago, global implementation of vaccines to prevent pneumonia has progressed but been disrupted recently by the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivery of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) remains a high priority for countries since they are a critical tool for reducing child mortality; some countries have progressed with PCV rollout while also introducing COVID-19 vaccines. Investments in scaling up and measuring the impact of PCV have helped boost the pandemic response in some countries. The pandemic has pushed the widespread and successful use of mRNA vaccines to the forefront of global health and further development and attention to this platform may be beneficial for the future of PCV in low-resource settings. 

  • Arup Deb Roy, MD, Project Director, John Snow, Inc.
  • Keith Klugman, MD, PhD, Director, Pneumonia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Lee Hampton, MD, Pediatrician and Medical Epidemiologist, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
  • Wangeci Kagucia, PhD, Research Fellow, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme

Partner Events for World Pneumonia Day:

View all events here.
Pneumonia & Diarrhea Progress Report

2021 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report Finds Key Gains Despite Toll of the COVID-19 Pandemic

For over 10 years, IVAC’s annual Pneumonia & Diarrhea Progress Report has tracked the progress against two of the leading killers of children worldwide: pneumonia and diarrhea. This year’s report illuminates the emerging direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on achieving targets for progress in child health. Although the pandemic threatened access to immunization across the globe, several countries made substantial progress through vaccine introductions.

Each year we evaluate the progress across 10 key indicators outlined in the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) in the 15 countries with the greatest burden of pneumonia and diarrhea deaths in children under 5. 
View Report Here

Child Health Week 2021: Multimedia Toolkit
Pneumonia and diarrhea are the leading infectious killers of children under age 5, taking more young lives than any other infectious disease. An estimated 1.24 million young children will die before their 5th birthday each year due to these two highly preventable and treatable diseases.

Child Health Week runs from November 12th through 20th. Spread the word and download and share video, social media, expert interviews, and more from our toolkit.
Pneumonia Immunization Resources

VIEW-hub Visualizes Vaccine Access

VIEW-hub, a map-based platform for visualizing data on vaccine use and impact, hosts resources and maps on PCV immunization introduction, access, coverage, impact, and outcomes.
Teamwork Key to Success to Nepal Overcoming Pandemic Challenges
Shrijana Shrestha, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine at Patan Academy of Health Sciences, discussed how the pandemic has impacted the Patan Academy’s work evaluating PCV immunizations and which resources proved most valuable in the team’s response to COVID-19.
Investments in Disease Surveillance Support Kenya’s Response to COVID-19
In an interview, Wangeci Kagucia, PhD, a Research Fellow in the Epidemiology and Demography Department at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, shared how Gavi-supported activities facilitated Kenya’s COVID-19 response by expanding capacity, testing, and partnerships.

PERCH Study on Childhood Pneumonia

The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study evaluated the etiology of severe and very severe pneumonia in children hospitalized in seven African and Asian countries. Published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, this latest set of ten papers focuses on site-specific results and imparts important lessons for disease control policies.

More about PERCH

Learn about the study's seminal global results by exploring our interactive microsite
Pneumonia Story Videos
Niruta is a Nepali pneumonia survivor passionate about making sure other children and their families do not have to experience the trauma of severe pneumonia. In 2018 at the age of 12, Niruta became ill and was hospitalized for nearly two weeks in the intensive care unit. Because of her hospitalization, her family experienced extreme financial and emotional difficulties that reverberated throughout their lives. In addition to sharing her story and advocating for better pneumonia prevention and treatment, Niruta hopes to continue her education and one day become a doctor or nurse.
The documentary was produced in association with the PneumoNepal Project, Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, and Patan Academy of Health Sciences.
Sickness and survival in pre-COVID-19 Nepal
In a post on Gavi's VaccinesWork blog, Dr. Meeru Gurung, a Senior Research Fellow at the Patan Academy of Health Sciences, recalls Niruta, her traumatic experience, and subsequent recovery from pneumonia.
Stories from Nepalese and Mongolian Families Coping with Childhood Pneumonia
Short videos show how pneumonia caused suffering and economic distress in a Mongolian family and in three Nepali families (presented by the PneumoNepal initiative).
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