Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Consultation to discuss the next steps towards the elimination of preventable pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths.

Geneva, 6-7 December 2012

Around 50 participants from partner organizations and countries met in Geneva to discuss the next steps towards the elimination of preventable pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths. Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the leading causes of under-five mortality, accounting for 29% of all child deaths.

The Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) is the result of merging the Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) and a seven-point plan for comprehensive diarrhoea control and provides a framework for action which builds on the power of integrated interventions. The plan incorporates the experiences gained in the promotion and implementation of both plans as well as the potential of public-private partnerships, community leadership, and the use of information technology to eliminate preventable deaths from the two conditions.

The consultation, hosted by WHO and UNICEF, provided an opportunity for additional inputs and broader ownership of the GAPPD. It brought together experts in the fields of pneumonia and diarrhoea, programmers/implementers and communication experts from selected countries, and staff from WHO offices and partners.

The objectives of the consultation were to:

  • Review implementation experiences in coordinated actions for the control and prevention of pneumonia and diarrhoea.
  • Review and provide input into the GAPPD.
  • Discuss opportunities for advocacy, dissemination and implementation of the GAPPD.

Participants had the opportunity to listen and exchange views on regional and country situations, experiences and lessons learned from implementation of coordinated actions in Africa, South-East Asia and Kenya.

During two sessions dedicated to group work, participants focused into specific next steps on particular action areas:

  • universal access to case management;
  • implementation and linkages with the Global Vaccine Action Plan;
  • links with WASH and air quality; and
  • advocacy and communication.

The group agreed to identifying countries in greatest need, with a view to building on current initiatives for incremental action (e.g. introduction of new vaccines, UN commission on commodities, etc.). The synergistic approach will also result in inserting GAPPD elements into existing country plans, engagement tools and processes, including indicators and costing of the specific interventions. From the communications and advocacy perspective, it was agreed that partners would link and identify existing events and linkages with other initiatives to leverage opportunities for advocacy.

It was also agreed that coordination is needed around mobilization of resources and tracking of progress. For this, partners will explore the best way to use the existing mechanism of the independent Expert Review Group, charged with monitoring the progress of implementation of the United Nations Secretary General’s Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, to track progress in the elimination of preventable deaths caused by pneumonia and diarrhoea.