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‘Strong, Efficient, Equitable Health Systems’ Necessary To Effectively Prevent, Treat Childhood Pneumonia

The Lancet: The case for action on childhood pneumonia
Editorial Board

“…Save the Children, in a report released on Nov. 2, makes the case that pneumonia is a forgotten killer, and they are right. Despite collective support for Gavi, and WHO and UNICEF’s global plan of action for pneumonia and diarrhea, no international initiative or campaign has yet spurred attention to the extent required. … Save the Children’s new global campaign has the backing of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who calls for pharmaceutical companies, donors, and U.N. agencies to come together and negotiate affordable vaccination. But vaccines are not enough, as the report concedes. Tackling pneumonia is achievable only with strong, efficient, and equitable health systems. This means action to support proper diagnosis and treatment of suspected cases, and to deliver vaccines via skilled health workers, cold storage chains, and well-governed procurement and delivery infrastructure. The case for saving children’s lives from pneumonia is clear — it will be realized only by strengthening health systems” (11/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.