Approximately 900,000 children under age 5 died from pneumonia-related causes in 2015 — more than from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. It is the leading killer of children under 5 globally.
Given the large burden of pneumonia and the fact that about 70 percent of pneumonia cases are left untreated every year, it is essential that high-quality, affordable treatments are made available to all affected children, and markets are shaped to be self-sustaining.
Despite the existence of an effective and relatively inexpensive treatment that is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) — amoxicillin dispersible tablets, or amox DT — access to this lifesaving commodity has been abysmally low in many countries with a high burden of pneumonia.
With limited foreign assistance for low-cost essential medicines, such as amox DT, and declining global health spending, it is also critical to ensure that domestic resources are mobilized and local health systems are strengthened to deliver treatments effectively and efficiently.
R4D is working with change agents at the global and country levels to urgently address childhood mortality from pneumonia by:
- Designing and implementing programs to avert hundreds of thousands of child deaths from pneumonia in high-burden countries via the delivery of roughly 7.5 million treatments in Ethiopia and Tanzania, while shaping local markets and systems to ensure sustainable access to essential pneumonia treatments and services in the future.
- Leading rigorous market analyses to identify market barriers and targeted areas for support in additional high-burden countries in Africa and Asia.
- Increasing market transparency and working with manufacturers to facilitate country-level drug registration processes for high-quality global and local suppliers.
- Conducting formative research to assess current levels of over- and under-diagnoses of pneumonia, as well as designing and piloting potential cost-effective interventions to improve the quality of care for pneumonia.
- Exploring additional cost-effective areas for impact such as pulse oximetry diagnostics and oxygen therapy for diagnosing and treating children with severe pneumonia.
This work is resulting in millions of children receiving increased access to high-quality pneumonia treatment and services.