World Pneumonia Day, 12 November 2012
A staggering 1.3 million children under five died from pneumonia in 2011, making it the leading killer of children under five. In an effort to reduce mortality, the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and control of Pneumonia (GAPP) was launched in 2009, with a three pronged vision of Protect, Prevent and Treat. Despite the existence of low-cost and highly effective antibiotics, less than one third of children with suspected pneumonia use antibiotics and a tiny minority receive amoxicillin in the ideal form for small children – a tablet that dissolves in fluid.
As part of the work of the UN Commission on Life-Saving commodities for Women and Children, WHO joins UNICEF and other partners to increase access to the most effective antibiotic treatment for the children most at risk of dying from pneumonia in the ten countries where those deaths are concentrated.