First-ever World Health Assembly resolution to fight childhood pneumonia

May 21, 2010

For the first time ever, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution today focused on the prevention and treatment of pneumonia, the world's leading killer of children. This resolution, approved by a consensus, reflects the growing momentum to fight this treatable and preventable cause of suffering and illness.

"No child should suffer from a disease that is so easily prevented and treated," said Mary Beth Powers, Chief of Save the Children's Newborn and Child Survival campaign. "Yet, more than 1.5 million children each year die from this disease. With existing and affordable vaccines and antibiotics most of these lives could be saved. This resolution calls on countries to use these tools and outlines how doing so will save millions of young lives."

Jim Dobbin MP and Lord Avebury, co-Chairs, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Global Action Against Childhood in the UK stated "We are delighted that the World Health Assembly (WHA) has approved the resolution on pneumonia. The successful passage of this resolution shows the vital commitment of WHA member states to the prevention, protection and treatment of pneumonia and will be of enormous help in combating the world's leading killer of children."

The resolution calls for collective action by policy makers, donor agencies and civil society to fight childhood pneumonia by accelerating access and delivery of proven pneumonia prevention and treatment interventions.

The resolution calls for the implementation of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) and estimates the recommended interventions - including vaccination against measles, pertussis, Hib and pneumococcal disease, treatment with antibiotics, and protective measures like breastfeeding and improvements in indoor air quality - could achieve a 67 percent reduction in pneumonia deaths by 2015.

"Today the world's health ministers deserve credit and praise. Their collective resolution to fight childhood pneumonia shows that the leading killer of children worldwide is preventable and treatable. Everyone should congratulate them for their leadership today and encourage them to follow through at home by making pneumonia a priority in their local programs," said Orin Levine, Executive Director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Awareness about the burden of pneumonia is growing and the WHA resolution will be an important boost for the many organizations around the world working to overcome the disease.

The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia, made up of nearly 100 influential organizations from around the globe, marked the first annual World Pneumonia Day in November 2009 with events in 39 countries on 6 continents. The next World Pneumonia Day will be on November 12, 2010.

Explore further: US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Provided by International Vaccine Access Center

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN: $39 billion needed for pneumonia

Nov 02, 2009

(AP) -- To fight pneumonia, the world's top killer of children, United Nations officials say they need $39 billion (euro26.35 billion) over the next six years.

Cost-effective measures could stop child pneumonia deaths

Jun 01, 2009

Implementing measures to improve nutrition, indoor air pollution, immunization coverage and the management of pneumonia cases could be cost-effective and significantly reduce child mortality from pneumonia, according to a ...

Recommended for you

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

6 hours ago

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

7 hours ago

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

10 hours ago

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

11 hours ago

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...