Media Advisory: Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia

Fighting for breath

30 January 2020

Barcelona- 30 January 2020- Over 10 Ministers of Health from Asia and Africa, and leading health and children’s organizations have convened in Barcelona, Spain for the inaugural Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia to ensure that Pneumonia is at the forefront of national and global health agendas; galvanize national action and mobilize the donor community to increase awareness of the scale of the pneumonia challenge.

Pneumonia claimed the lives of 800,000 children under the age of five in 2018, or one child every 39 seconds. That was more than any other disease. Yet pneumonia remains largely forgotten.

The forum is organised by nine leading health and children’s organisations – the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Every Breath Counts, Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance, ISGlobal, “la Caixa” Foundation, Save the Children, UNICEF, Unitaid and USAID 

The Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng who is attending the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in Barcelona says, “Pneumonia accounts for 10 per cent of under five deaths in Uganda. At least 25 children in Uganda die of pneumonia every day. The Government of Uganda has been scaling up approaches to protect, prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea among under-fives since 2012. These include promotion of breast feeding, Immunisation, vitamin A supplementation and treatment of pneumonia with appropriate antibiotics. Working with partners, the Ministry of Health launched the national Oxygen Scale Up plan to improve oxygen availability to all health facilities to improve treatment of hypoxemia- lack of adequate oxygen in blood when one is suffering from pneumonia. Additional efforts include; scaling up the Integrated Community Case Management of the three main childhood killer diseases; diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria to all districts in Uganda, and improving community health by strengthening preventative, promotive and curative services through the Community Health Extension Workers. 

The introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine in 2013 with a coverage now at 96 per cent in addition to the Pentavalent vaccine which contains the vaccine against the Haemophillus influenza virus was a great stride to end morbidity due to pneumonia and this immunization and coverage needs to be sustained. Uganda is committed to ending Pneumonia among our children by 2030.” 

Participants at the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia have agreed on concrete steps to dramatically reduce child pneumonia deaths.  Uganda  has  signed the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia Declaration.
•    Live video from the event are available here
•    Handout content and case studies are available here 

For updates on social media please follow @Stop_pneumonia, @MinOfHealthUG & @UNICEFUganda 

Media Contacts

Emmanuel Ainebyoona

Public Relations Officer

Ministry of Health

Tel: +256779220588


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