In June, the Global Health Council published a new research report on community case management (CCM) of childhood pneumonia. Pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality among children under the age of 5 years, resulting in more than 2 million deaths each year. Community case management of childhood pneumonia is one of many interventions to reduce childhood pneumonia mortality and is included as one of the key components for addressing the burden of childhood pneumonia in the Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP). CCM of pneumonia employs community-based health workers (CHWs) to diagnose and treat the disease within their communities by using a simple algorithm that measures easily detectable signs of childhood pneumonia, including fast-breathing and chest in-drawing.
The report, Community Case Management of Childhood Pneumonia, provides an overview of CCM for childhood pneumonia, examines the advantages and challenges of this intervention and includes several case studies of CCM programs. Evidence shows that CCM is an effective strategy for reducing childhood pneumonia deaths and is particularly beneficial for children in rural and isolated areas. CCM helps to reduce geographic and financial barriers to care. It also helps to alleviate the burden of severe pneumonia cases in hospitals by identifying sick children early and providing immediate treatment. However, the effectiveness of CCM is sometimes limited by weak health systems and poor training and supervision of CHWs. Government policies, such as laws restricting the use of antibiotics by CHWs, may also make implementing CCM difficult.
To read the Council’s new report, Community Case Management of Childhood Pneumonia, please visit: http://www.globalhealth.org/images/pdf/publications/2010_ccm_pneumonia.pdf