Despite recent mobilization of funding and targeted interventions by donors, nongovernmental organisations, and the private and public sectors between 2005 and 2015, much more needs to be done to end preventable child deaths by 2030. What do we need to do?
There are still 170 million children that have not been vaccinated against pneumonia in the world today. In low-income countries, rates of exclusive breastfeeding are as low as 50 percent. To continue reducing the number of pneumonia deaths and of children falling ill, it will be essential to scale up the use of vaccines and to encourage breastfeeding and good sanitation practices such as handwashing.
Another way to reduce pneumonia deaths is early detection. Since 2009 several organisations, including the Malaria Consortium, Save the Children, and UNICEF, have been undertaking research into the most effective methods of evaluating pneumonia diagnostic tools to find innovative solutions for diagnosing pneumonia.
There is considerable evidence to show that pneumonia can be diagnosed and treated successfully at the community level — for example, in remote villages — whether by providing health services in places without any formal health staff or by relieving the burden on overstretched health facilities. Providing health services within these communities can be lifesaving, especially during the critical 24 hours after the onset of illness symptoms.
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