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
  • For three days in late January 2020, 400 individuals from 60 countries gathered in Barcelona to work out better ways to fight the leading infectious threat to child survival - pneumonia. Leith Greenslade, coordinator of the Every Breath Counts Coalition, a 40-member public-private partnership, reflects on what was achieved and what it means for children.

  • The first Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia. A snapshot through photos.

  • The challenges in pneumonia diagnosis in low-resource settings have been well documented. The current method routinely used involves community health workers manually counting a child’s breath for one minute - the respiratory rate. This is often not done, or done poorly, frequently leading to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.

We all have a role to play in ending preventable child pneumonia deaths by 2030

For more information, please contact
This campaign is supported by our global communication partner ENGINE|mhp