Championing the fight against pneumonia

Pneumonia is the single biggest infectious killer of children, claiming over 800,000 lives annually. Yet pneumonia remains a neglected disease. And the numbers are coming down far too slowly to achieve the 2030 ambition of ending preventable child deaths.

This year on the 10th anniversary of World Pneumonia Day12 November 2019 – we are championing the fight against pneumonia.

We know that urgent and decisive action could save many lives through immunisation, or early and accurate diagnosis followed by treatment with antibiotics, or referral for oxygen treatment. We need to extend the reach, quality and equity of health systems so that the children facing the greatest risks receive the care they need.

This World Pneumonia Day, we are calling for concrete action from governments and other stakeholders in the lead-up to the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in January 2020.

Photo credit: Save the Children


Fighting for Breath – A Call to Action to Stop Children Dying of Pneumonia
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Fighting for Breath (French version) Download report

Fighting for Breath (Spanish version) Download report

Media release on World Pneumonia Day: New report shows pneumonia killed 800,000 children worldwide last year, more than any other disease
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2019 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report Card
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Country briefings
More detailed information about the top high-burden countries. Click on a country name to download the briefing.

Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo (French version)
South Sudan

Photo credit: Save the Children

World Pneumonia Day – a decade on

In 2009, a diverse group of committed doctors, advocates, academics, UN officials and business people came together to change the way the world responded to pneumonia, the “forgotten killer of children”. When they launched the first World Pneumonia Day in November, pneumonia was killing 1.2 million children each year.

Read our blog post, written by Leith Greenslade from the Every Breath Counts Coalition, to find out what’s changed in the decade since then – the progress that has been made, and the still-daunting challenge ahead.

Latest posts
  • From Bangladesh to Zimbabwe 11 civil society organizations took on the local fight against the leading infectious killer during a 2022 World Pneumonia Day Week of Action.

  • For the more than 400 million adults and children who get sick with pneumonia each year, the costs of treatment can be catastrophic - as individuals and families are forced to pay out-of-pocket for healthcare. Every Breath Counts is launching a new campaign to document these crippling costs.

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