In support of World Pneumonia Day, the first Pneumonia Innovations Summit was held in New York on November 12, 2015. The event highlighted innovations that can prevent, diagnose, and treat the millions of children who contract pneumonia every year.
More than thirty innovators demonstrated their new technologies and initiatives that improve diagnostics and community treatment.
Among them were a phone that can recognize pneumonia based on the sound of a cough and a fitted timer that measures a child’s respiratory rate. Leading experts and researchers were also present on how to reduce risk factors and vulnerability through improved cook stoves and breast milk banks.
“It’s unacceptable that over 900,000 children die each year from pneumonia when we have the tools to prevent these deaths. We can do better. The Pneumonia Innovations Summit is an opportunity to bring the best minds and best ideas to fixing this problem” says Kate Schroder, Senior Director, Essential Medicines Initiative, Clinton Health Access Initiative.
“In order to address inadequate global funding allocated to pneumonia relative to its burden on children, UNICEF and Speak Up Africa launched a global campaign, “Every Breath Counts” which calls worldwide attention to the opportunity implied by global investment in pneumonia” said Yacine Djibo, President of Speak Up Africa.
Pneumonia kills more children than any other infectious disease – more than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined – but it receives a fraction of the global public health investment. The Institute for Health Metric and Evaluation published findings which showed that child pneumonia deaths fell at a much slower rate than child deaths from measles, AIDS and malaria over the past several years.
UNICEF teamed up with Speak Up Africa to design and implement a scalable, global public health campaign to raise awareness and spur investment in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia.
This effort recognizes that vaccines alone will not be enough to drive child pneumonia deaths to the levels required to meet agreed global health targets.
The Summit was hosted by the Pneumonia Innovations Team, a global network of more than 200 organizations and individuals committed to accelerating the development and adoption of new technologies with the greatest potential to reduce child deaths from pneumonia.