Publications & Reports

Slow progress towards pneumonia control for children in low-and-middle income countries as measured by pneumonia indicators: A systematic review of the literature.

Quach A, Spence H, Nguyen C, Graham SM, von Mollendorf C, Mulholland K, Russell FM
Asia-Pacific Health Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Victoria, Australia.


Background: The integrated Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) has the goal of ending preventable childhood deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea by 2025 with targets and indicators to monitor progress. The aim of this systematic review is to summarise how low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) reported pneumonia-specific GAPPD indicators at national and subnational levels and whether GAPPD targets have been achieved. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed and Global Health Databases, and the World Health Organization (WHO) website. Publications/reports between 2015 and 2020 reporting on two or more GAPPD-pneumonia indicators from LMICs were included. Data prior to 2015 were included if available in the same report series. Quality of publications was assessed with the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. A narrative synthesis of the literature was performed to describe which countries and WHO regions were reporting on GAPPD indicators and progress in GAPPD coverage targets. Results: Our search identified 17 publications/reports meeting inclusion criteria, with six from peer-reviewed publications. Data were available from 139 LMICs between 2010 and 2020, predominantly from Africa. Immunisation coverage rates were the indicators most commonly reported, followed by exclusive breastfeeding rates and pneumonia case management. Most GAPPD indicators were reported at the national level with minimal reporting at the subnational level. Immunisation coverage (Haemophilus influenzae, measles, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccines) in the WHO Europe, Americas and South-East Asia regions were meeting 90% coverage targets, while pneumococcal conjugate vaccine coverage lagged globally. The remaining GAPPD indicators (breastfeeding, pneumonia case management, antiretroviral prophylaxis, household air pollution) were not meeting GAPPD targets in LMICs. There was a strong negative correlation between pneumonia specific GAPPD coverage rates and under-five mortality (Pearson correlation coefficient range = -0.74, -0.79). Conclusion: There is still substantial progress to be made in LMICs to achieve the 2025 GAPPD targets. Current GAPPD indicators along with country reporting mechanisms should be reviewed with consideration of adding undernutrition and access to oxygen therapy as important indicators which impact pneumonia outcomes. Further research on GAPPD indicators over longer time periods and at subnational levels can help identify high-risk populations for targeted pneumonia interventions.

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  • Journal: Journal of Global Health
  • Published: 25/10/2022
  • Volume: 12
  • Pagination: 10006