India continues to have the highest burden of pneumonia and diarrhea death in the world, with 158,171 pneumonia and 102,813 diarrhea in 2016 according to the International Emergency Response Center (IVAC) according to "Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report."
The report found that "very short" health systems make it difficult for the most vulnerable children to have prevention and treatment services in the 15 countries, including India, which account for 70 percent of global pneumonia and diarrhea deaths in children under five years.
Despite significant disease reductions in recent years due to improvements in access to and use of health interventions, nearly half a million pneumonia and diarrhea cases occurred in two countries – India and Nigeria, it said.
The number of deaths in children under five years due to pneumonia in 2016 was 1.58.176, while diarrhea deaths were 1.02.813, reported the report.
Released before the 10th Annual World's Pneumonia Day, November 12, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg's School of Public Health describes progress in combating these two diseases in 15 countries.
According to the report, the 15 nations with the highest number of deaths in pneumonia and diarrhea are children in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Chad, Angola, Somalia, Indonesia, Tanzania, China, Niger, Bangladesh, Uganda and Côte d'Ivoire.
RotaC coverage, said that from 2017 rotavirus vaccines had not been introduced in eight of the 15 focus countries – Nigeria, DRC, Chad, Somalia, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh and Uganda.
Of the seven countries where rotavirus vaccines have been introduced, the median coverage of complete rotavirus vaccine is 58 percent. "Among the countries that introduced the vaccine from 2017 were the lowest coverage levels in Pakistan (12 percent) and India (13 percent), both of whom had recently begun faced national developments that have not yet reached all states or provinces," the report said.
The development of progress in India, home to more than five pneumonia and diarrhea deaths than any other country in 2016, has become "mixed", said it. Increased coverage of vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and continued uptake of rotavirus vaccines introduced in mid 2016 resulted in a loss in score for these interventions since last year's report.
"In 2017, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been included in only six states to date. Further upgrading of the vaccine to all conditions should be considered," the report reported analyzing government data.
It also pointed out that India's score for exclusive breastfeeding decreased as well as the coverage of ORS. "The proportion of children receiving important treatments is still insufficiently low, with just under 20 percent receiving ORS for diarrheal diseases," said it.
"Progress to stop childbirth is attenuated by persistent irregularities in countries around the world," says Kate O'Brien, MD, MPH, a professor at Bloomberg School Department of International Health and IVAC's Executive Director. "Tackling these irregularities will require greater funding levels, strong political commitment, accountability supported by better data and a coordinated global effort that prioritizes the most vulnerable," he added.
The report found that, although countries are making progress towards improved vaccination, they are making serious efforts to treat childhood diseases, especially among remote, poor or otherwise abandoned populations.