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On 12 November 2012, the world will recognise the fourth annual World Pneumonia Day.
Pneumonia is the leading killer of children under the age of five worldwide – responsible for nearly one in five global child deaths annually. In 2011 alone, 1.3 million young children died from this preventable and treatable illness. Yet many of these lives could be saved by simple interventions such as vaccination against the most common causes of pneumonia.
World Pneumonia Day aims to increase awareness about pneumonia. It was created in 2009 by the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia, of which GAVI is a founding member.
On the first World Pneumonia Day, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, together with GAVI and partners, launched the Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP).
This plan focuses on increasing access to vaccines, improving nutrition (through measures such as exclusive breastfeeding), reducing exposure to indoor air pollution, and increasing access to antimicrobial drugs that can treat pneumonia.
In December 2010, Nicaragua became the first GAVI-eligible country to introduce pneumococcal vaccine into its routine immunisation programme, less than a year after it was introduced in rich countries. Since then, 21 countries have introduced this life-saving tool. By 2015, GAVI and its partners aim to immunise 90 million children with pneumococcal vaccines in more than 50 countries.
27 July 2012
Pneumococcal vaccine launched in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 18th GAVI-eligible country to roll out pneumococcal vaccines in the developing world since 2010
12 November 2011
Pneumococcal vaccines introduced in Malawi
On 12 November 2011, World Pnuemonia Day, Malawi became the 16th GAVI-eligible country to introduce the pneumococcal vaccine, protecting children in the country against the leading cause of pneumonia.
26 September 2011
Vaccine protects refugee children entering Kenya from killer pneumonia
Following its introduction in Kenya, the pneumococcal vaccine is now protecting refugees from Somalia in Dadaab refugee camp.
03 August 2011
Pneumococcal introduction in Sierra Leone
January 2011, Sierra Leone
Photo: UNICEF/Edmund Makiu
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05 April 2011
Honduras tackles leading killer of children
Pneumococcal vaccines introduced in seventh GAVI-eligible country.
04 April 2011
GAVI support kicks-off a healthy start into life for Congolese children
On 4 April the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined the set of six countries that use the new vaccine against pneumococcus to protect their children.
19 January 2011
Guyana Health Ministry launches new PCV 13 vaccine
The Guyana Health Ministry has incorporated the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), which protects against 13 strains of the pneumococcal infections, into its national immunisation programme.
19 August 2009
The Gambia introduces vaccine against pneumococcal disease
Minister of Health Dr. Mariatou Jallow administers the first dose of the pneumococcal vaccine to Gambian children at a rural clinic outside Banjul.
Nicaragua was the first GAVI eligible country to introduce on the 12th December 2010 pneumococcal vaccines which prevents against the most deadly form of pneumonia.
In January 2011, Yemen launched pneumococcal vaccines. Pneumonia was the leading killer of children under five with acute respiratory diseases accounting for 20 to 23 per cent of the country’s infant deaths.
Ghana became the first African country in April 2012 to introduce pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines at the same time, simultaneously tackling the leading causes of the world’s two biggest childhood killers – pneumonia and diarrhoea.
As a first step in the rollout of the national pneumococcal immunisation programme, Rwanda successfully introduced the pneumococcal vaccine in 2009 and switched to GAVI-supported vaccines in September 2011.
The introduction in October 2012 of the pneumococcal vaccine in Pakistan is an important milestone in the fight to reduce the burden caused by pneumonia.
In addition to pneumococcal disease, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), is a second leading cause of pneumonia. By the end of 2012, nearly all GAVI-eligible countries will have introduced the Hib vaccine with GAVI support, immunising a cumulative 120 million children.
12 July 2012
DPR Korea introduces pentavalent vaccine
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will continue to co-finance GAVI vaccines.
23 April 2012
Haiti celebrates post-earthquake vaccine success story
Just two years after a catastrophic earthquake shattered its public health system, Haiti has marked the launch of World Immunization Week by launching a nationwide vaccination campaign.
16 May 2011
Pentavalent vaccine saves lives in Madagascar
Linked to increasing immunisation coverage with vaccines such as the pentavalent, Madagascar is one of just six countries in the world to reduce its child mortality rates by more than 60% between 1990 and 2009.
01 May 2011
Kyrgyzstan finds one vaccine is better than five
When Kyrgyz doctors first started using the pentavalent vaccine in 2009, officials in the Central Asian nation s health ministry noticed immunisation coverage rates were going down. But the doctors' initial fears turned out to be the vaccine's greatest strength.
09 April 2008
Australia and Papua New Guinea launch efforts to crush deadly Hib disease in Pacific region
New vaccine rollout through the GAVI Alliance expected to help extinguish childhood killer. Papua New Guinea will begin immunising children this month with a vaccine that promises to rid the nation of Haemophilus Influenzae type b, or Hib disease, one of the deadliest causes of meningitis and pneumonia.
The pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (AMC) is an innovative way to make effective and affordable pneumococcal vaccines available for children in developing countries.
The AMC provides incentives for manufacturers to produce large quantities of pneumococcal vaccine which can then reach developing countries as much as a decade earlier than they historically would have done. The AMC is funded by Canada, Italy, Norway, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Read the 2012 Pneumococcal AMC Annual Report. It provides an extensive description of the first achievements of this innovative initiative: the first introductions of pneumococcal vaccines in GAVI countries.
Five Things You Can Do - Easy
steps to get involved.
Visit the World Pneumonia Day website for more resources from their Activist Toolkit, including: Event planning and online tools.
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