1st Annual World Pneumonia Day: Monday November 2, 2009

Hello folks and welcome to November. I wanted to post a brief announcement to acknowledge the Hedge Funds vs Malaria and Pneumonia,  Wear Blue Jeans campaign for World Pneumonia Day. You can find them on facebook and twitter, and also read a recent article by Dr. Orin Levine on the Huffington Post website here. Here are a few startling facts about the deadly impact of pneumonia on children:

  • Pneumonia is the world’s leading killer of children under 5, excluding neonatal deaths. 2 main causes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infections, are responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.2 million children around the world. Ten countries with the greatest burden, both in terms of greatest overall number and greatest proportion, of global pneumococcal cases are India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and the Philippines. (WHO, 2008)
  • Vaccines exist that provide some protection against both types of infections, but the vaccines are not included in the national immunization campaigns in developing countries (Rudan and Campbell, 2009)

Over the next few months, Carol McLaughlin will be investigating several opportunities for impact by philanthropists including:

  • Treat and Prevent Now – getting existing vaccines and inexpensive treatments out at the community level
  • Strengthen Systems – raising awareness of the danger signs among parents, and training the workforce, especially community level providers
  • Innovate for the Future – develop and pilot new technologies and tools for improved diagnostics and rapid communication at the community level