Data use key in fighting child pneumonia, diarrhea

May / June 2013 | Volume 12, Issue 3

Developing countries need to collect and use important data as they battle childhood deaths from diarrhea and pneumonia, according to a new plan proposed by WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) suggests a "cohesive approach" for tackling these two diseases, which annually kill 2 million children under five years of age.

The initiative, aimed at national governments and their partners, will help develop clear strategies and work plans, coordinate implementation of interventions, engage critical partners and take other steps to ensure maximum delivery of proven treatments to those in most need. Rather than calling for new solutions, the agencies suggest expanding the reach of steps shown to work.

To ensure countries maximize their progress in reducing deaths, GAPPD recommends integration of research data, using information to identify groups at greater risk or missed by service, developing common indicators for tracking progress and conducting implementation research to identify optimal modes of delivering existing interventions.

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