Point-of-care diagnostics are needed to improve childhood pneumonia case management and survival in low-resource settings
Dr Ayobami Adebayo Bakare, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria and Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Pneumonia remains the leading infectious cause of death among children despite increasing coverage of pneumococcal vaccines and proven therapeutic interventions, including antibiotics and oxygen. The reasons for this may be complex—but an important factor was recently highlighted by Pui-Ying et al who observed that children hospitalized with pneumonia in settings where vaccine coverage, HIV, and chronic malnutrition rates are high did not present with typical signs and symptoms. This made accurate diagnosis with existing tools including risk scores difficult increasing the risk of missed diagnosis and inappropriate antibiotic use. The authors concluded that the absence of more specific diagnostics hinder both the rational application of treatments and appropriate antimicrobial stewardship.
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