Ten of 15 countries failed to meet a threshold of 45 per cent for the rota virus vaccine which prevents a substantial portion of diarrhoea deaths and hospitalisations. This includes nine countries (Afghanistan, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo or DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia) which had not yet introduced the vaccine and India, which began a phased introduction in 2016.
Released ahead of World Pneumonia Day (November 12), the 2017 Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report: Driving Progress through Equitable Investment and Action sheds some light on the factors slowing progress against the world’s two biggest killers of young children. The Progress Report is issued by the International Vaccine Access Centre at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and provides an update on efforts to prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea in the most heavily burdened countries.
Three of the 15 countries achieved or exceeded the 90 per cent target (Sudan, Tanzania and Bangladesh) for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine coverage. Six countries failed to meet a threshold of 45 per cent, all of which had not yet introduced the vaccine in 2016 (Chad, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Somalia), Kate O’Brien, professor at Bloomberg School’s Depart-ment of International Health and IVAC’s executive director, said.
There is a strong evidence demonstrating that about half of all diarrhoea episodes and about one third of respiratory infections could be averted by breastfeeding. The Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) target for exclusive breastfeeding within the first six months of a child’s life is 50 per cent coverage.