Timely intervention: Implementation of GAPPD report would help in bringing down disease incidences!
"Children who are poor, hungry and living in remote areas are most likely to be visited by these "forgotten killers" and the burden placed by pneumonia and diarrhoea on families and health systems aggravates existing inequalities", rightly mentions the GAPPD report developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The report surely holds importance for India, where diarrhea accounts for about 12 percent and pneumonia accounts for 23 percent of deaths in children less than five years old.
The GAPPD represents the first-ever simultaneous effort to protect children from pneumonia and diarrhea, which take the lives of almost two million children a year. The report is based on the most recent data and evidence collected in a special series published in The Lancet on April 12, 2013.
It provides the most up-to-date strategies and evidence needed to significantly reduce childhood deaths and illness. The GAPPD will provide a framework to protect children, prevent disease, and treat children who become sick using proven interventions that have contributed to major reduction in child deaths.
The Integrated Global Action Plan aims to help countries achieve impact by analysing local data, acting on the results and monitoring their progress towards clear, achievable goals. The goals by 2025 include the reduction in mortality from pneumonia in children less than 5 years of age to fewer than 3 per 1000 live births; reduce mortality from diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age to fewer than 1 per 1000 live births; reduce the incidence of severe pneumonia by 75 percent in children less than five years of age compared to 2010 levels; reduce the incidence of severe diarrhoea by 75 percent in children less than five years of age compared to 2010 levels; reduce by 40 percent the global number of children less than five years of age who are stunted compared to 2010 levels.
The optimism can be well observed from the targets set by the GAPPD. As the report puts it, "The goal is ambitious but achievable: to end preventable childhood deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea by 2025."