Championing the fight to stop pneumonia

Pneumonia is the world’s biggest infectious killer of adults and children – claiming 2.5 million lives, including 672,000 children under five, in 2019.

That’s one person dying every 13 seconds. Yet pneumonia remains a neglected disease – a “global cause without champions”.

COVID-19 will add 3.6 million to the death toll in 2021, bringing the total number of respiratory infection deaths to more than 6 million. No other infection causes this burden of death.

Unless we take action now to reduce pneumonia deaths and the risk of further respiratory infection pandemics, millions more adults and children will die from pneumonia over the next decade.

The Every Breath Counts Coalition

The Every Breath Counts Coalition is the world’s first public-private partnership supporting low- and middle-income countries to reduce pneumonia deaths, including from COVID-19.

The global coalition of UN agencies, businesses, donors, academic institutions and NGOs have committed to supporting governments in countries with some of the highest burden of pneumonia. The members provide support to close the critical gaps in pneumonia prevention, diagnosis and treatment, which could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

Read more about the coalition

World Pneumonia Day

World Pneumonia Day, marked every year on 12 November, was established by the Stop Pneumonia Initiative in 2009 to raise awareness about the toll of pneumonia – a leading killer of children around the world – and to advocate for global action to protect against, help prevent and effectively treat this deadly illness.

Read more about World Pneumonia Day 2021

News & updates

New global data, in-country success stories, op-eds from experts. You can find it all here.

Latest posts
  • Electronic health tools like pulse oximetry are a critical component of the child survival agenda - offering a lifeline to those who urgently need oxygen therapy to breathe.

  • How do we reduce the overuse of antibiotics for the treatment of pneumonia yet close the remaining access gaps for pneumonia patients, especially children, who are missing out?

  • "It’s not just the availability of oxygen that affects us. There are so many other challenges we face in our healthcare system here in Malawi." Read Mtheto Sinjani' story.

  • This year, World Pneumonia Day is held during COP 26 – the UN Climate Change Conference. It is a critical moment to bring together the health, air quality and climate community to tackle the biggest infectious killer on the planet.

  • Pneumonia has been the biggest “missing piece” on the global health agenda for decades. There is no global goal for reducing pneumonia deaths and no global health agency responsible for supporting countries to prevent, diagnose and treat pneumonia.

  • Oxygen is an essential medicine. Yet it remains beyond the reach of the poorest & most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified high out-of-pocket costs for oxygen across the world, exposing the tragic results when patients cannot afford to pay.