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People from around the world will mark World Pneumonia Day on 12 November.
More than 900,000 children die each year from pneumonia, more than from any other disease. But many of these children could be saved by simple interventions such as vaccination against the most common causes of pneumonia and treatment with antibiotics.
Thanks to Gavi and its partners, vaccines against pneumococcal disease – the leading cause of pneumonia – are reaching children at an accelerated pace.
Since 2010, more than 50 developing countries have introduced the vaccine with Gavi support. In November 2014, Gavi met its 2015 target of supporting 45 introductions – more than a year ahead of schedule.
WHO estimates that to date 47 million children have been protected against pneumococcal disease, which claims the lives of more than half a million children under five each year, with Gavi support.
Gavi is a founding member of the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia, formed in 2009 to raise awareness and to encourage governments to support the implementation of a range of proven measures to prevent and treat pneumonia.
Save the Children Bangladesh reveals the essential part that childhood vaccination and effective partnerships can play in combatting pneumonia and other childhood diseases.
Children in Bangladesh to benefit from dual vaccine introduction20 March 2015
East Africa paediatricians speak with one voice for vaccines4 December 2014
Nicaragua: first Gavi eligible country introduction
Pakistan: first South Asian country introduction
Kenya: first African country introduction
Supporting vaccines and fighting pneumonia in KenyaTabitha Mwangi, freelance journalist, Kenya
South African Disease Surveillance: a long journey to vaccine impactDr Anna von Gottberg
Kenya: proving impact of vaccines against pneumoniaThe Wellcome Trust
Vaccine portraitDr Hasina Ahmed, Health worker, Dhaka South City Corporation
Progress in our fight to protect children from pneumoniaDevi Thomas, Director Shot@Life
Press, pneumonia and prevention in PakistanHuma Khawar, freelance journalist
A community approach to world pneumonia dayHuma Khawar, Pakistan
Vaccine against pneumonia – five unexpected perksVaccineswork
Vaccine portraitDr Anil Agarwal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
View more blogs @Vaccineswork
Gavi’s support to pneumococcal vaccines in developing countries began with the introduction in Nicaragua in December 2010. Just five years later, more than 50 countries have already introduced the vaccine with Gavi support. By the end of 2016, this is expected to increase to almost 60 countries.
Another key vaccine in the fight against pneumonia is the Gavi-supported pentavalent vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Both pertussis and Hib are major causes of pneumonia in children. In July 2014, South Sudan became the 73rd and final Gavi-supported country to introduce the vaccine.
Measles vaccine can also help prevent pneumonia, as it is a common complication following measles infection, especially in children. Gavi supports a second dose of measles vaccine for routine immunisation, measles campaigns in six large countries at high risk of outbreaks and measles-rubella vaccine through catch-up campaigns.
The pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (AMC) is an innovative way to make effective and affordable pneumococcal vaccines available for children in developing countries.
Through donor commitments, this innovative funding mechanism incentivises vaccine makers to produce suitable and affordable vaccines for the world's poorest countries. These countries are then able to plan for immunisation programmes knowing that vaccines will be available rapidly.
Pneumonia is the number one infectious killer of children under the age of five globally, causing 16% of child deaths in the 73 Gavi supported countries.
The rollout of pneumococcal vaccines is underway and could avert over 600,000 deaths from 2016-2020.
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Visit the World Pneumonia Day website for more resources from their Activist Toolkit, including: Event planning and online tools.
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© Gavi 2015
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