Malaria Consortium is drawing on its expertise in improving pneumonia case management to develop and operationalise pneumonia control strategies in Chad and Ethiopia. The project will support efforts to reduce the number of deaths in children under five who are disproportionately affected by the disease.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under five in both Chad and Ethiopia, accounting for 23 and 16 percent of deaths respectively.1 A significant factor in pneumonia’s status as the number one most infectious killer is the lack of effective pneumonia case management in low-income settings due to inaccurate diagnosis and classification, inadequate referral systems and lack of appropriate treatment.
“Pneumonia is a disease that kills many children under five in Chad. To date there is no national pneumonia control strategy. This project is welcome because it will help to reduce mortality from this disease. It is important to work together in the fight against pneumonia at the community level.” Dr Toralta Nodjitoloum, Deputy Director of the Direction of Sexual and Reproductive Health, Ministry of Public Health and National Solidarity, Chad.
In each country Malaria Consortium will work with child health partners and the ministries of health to develop improved pneumonia control strategies. This project will undertake a review of the current methods and systems used to manage pneumonia cases at the different levels of the health system and use a consensus approach to develop a Pneumonia Control Strategy (PCS) for each country.
“From previous work in pneumonia we know the importance of developing tailored solutions that fit the unique requirement of individual health systems. In Ethiopia this will mean situating the pneumonia work within the excellent work the Federal Ministry of Health has done on further developing the child survival strategy. In Chad, again we look forward to working with the ministry team in developing a focused but integrated pneumonia control strategy that meets their specific needs.” Kevin Baker, Research Advisor, Malaria Consortium.
Malaria Consortium has been working on improved pneumonia case management for over ten years, with large scale studies focused on improved pneumonia diagnostics and case management.2,3 Based on learnings from this work Malaria Consortium advocates for a health system approach to improving pneumonia health outcomes in children under five, which will help to inform this project. The project will also take learning from the recent success in Nigeria of the Every Breath Counts (EBC) coalition, of which Malaria Consortium is chair of the research group, in developing a national PCS. This was completed last year and endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Health.
Importantly, Malaria Consortium will draw on established partnerships with key global and national stakeholders, and experience working with Ministries of Health in Chad and Ethiopia, to ensure joint ownership of the activities that will help to support sustainable operationalisation of the strategies in national plans. The policy recommendations, revised national guidelines, implementation lessons, standard operating procedures, as well as improved procurement options generated by this project could be adopted and rolled out across other high-burden LMICs.
''The Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia is happy to work with Malaria Consortium on developing the national newborn child survival strategy, including improved pneumonia case management." Solomon Gebeyehu Muhie, Newborn and Child Health Team Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia
 UNICEF. Pneumonia data. [online] Available at: https://data.unicef.org/resources/dataset/symptoms-pneumonia-careseeking/ [Accessed 28 Nov. 2019]