Delivering vaccines for the prevention of pneumonia - programmatic and financial issues
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Pneumonia is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children younger than 5 years. Vaccines are available against the main bacterial pathogens Haemophilus influenzae type b and Streptococcus pneumoniae. There are also vaccines against measles and pertussis; diseases that can predispose a child to pneumonia. Partners such as GAVI, the Hib Initiative, the Accelerated Development and Introduction Plan for pneumococcal vaccines and the Measles Initiative have accelerated the introduction of vaccines into developing countries. Whilst significant improvements in vaccine coverage have occurred globally over the past decade, there still remains an urgent need to scale-up key pneumonia protection and treatment interventions as identified in the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP). There is promise that global immunisation will continue to improve child survival. However, there are several challenges to vaccine implementation that must first be addressed, including: a lack of access to under-served and marginalised populations; inadequate planning and management; a lack of political commitment; weak monitoring and surveillance programmes and assured sustainable finance and supply of quality vaccines. There is an urgent need to increase global awareness of the devastation that pneumonia brings to the world's poorest communities.
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