The missing fifth vital sign

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by Eric D. McCollum, MD 

Dr. Eric McCollum is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Eudowood Division of Pediatric Respiratory Sciences in Baltimore, United States. He has a joint appointment with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of International Health and he is the Director of Johns Hopkins University Global Program in Pediatric Respiratory Sciences, Maseru, Lesotho.

 

The medical axiom “vital signs are vital” infers that vital signs are the foundation for delivering high quality pediatric clinical care. And they are. Vital signs traditionally include the four measurements of body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. However, over the past several decades a fifth vital sign has emerged, oxygen saturation.

 

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Reducing Community-Acquired Pneumonia Mortality

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Reducing Community-Acquired Pneumonia Mortality

by Dr. Adegoke Falade, College of Medicine and University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

 

 

Community-acquired pneumonia is the commonest cause of under-five mortality. The Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) framework outlines key interventions to protect against, prevent, and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea in children under-five. In 2017, the GAPPD Pneumonia score for Nigeria was only 30%, out of a minimum of 84%.

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Can artificial intelligence help win the fight against pneumonia?

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by Dr. Mark Ansermino, University of British Columbia We use artificial intelligence (AI) almost every day. It is present in our phones, computers, cars and homes. So what about healthcare? Over the last 2-3 years there has been an increasing interest and investment in AI for healthcare, specifically through the use of smart applications. However, there are many concerns about the impact of AI. Can we trust computers to make our healthcare decisions? Will the adoption of AI result in the loss of...
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Pursuing universal health coverage in India: hopes and fears

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A new blog post by Samy Ahmar, Acting Head of Health at Save the Children and Tara Brace-John, Health Advocacy Adviser is available. "Delivering quality healthcare to all Indians remains a huge challenge, given the population size and inequality in access. Despite this, we return from Delhi full of hope after witnessing first-hand what political commitment can achieve in the progress towards universal health coverage." Read the full blog post here . ​
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Fighting for Breath: A call to action on childhood pneumonia

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by Kevin Watkins, February 8, 2018 Kevin Watkins from Save the Children UK holds leaders in global health accountable. No one gets a pass: national governments, UN agencies, World Bank, Gavi, pharmaceutical companies, and NGOs are all letting down the hundreds of millions of children who get sick from pneumonia each year and the almost 1 million children who die. This World Bank blog is a blueprint for change. Read the blog post here .
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What causes a million deaths a year?

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by Dr. Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow, Research Investments in Global Health study at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton. Dr. Michael Head and his team look more closely at the percent of infectious disease R&D spending that is allocated to pneumonia: "Our data, through the Research Investments in Global Health (ResIn) study, suggest that pneumonia is a particularly underfunded disease compared to the other infections mentioned here, and research elsewhere shows that th...
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Pneumonia: it’s a bigger deal than you think

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by Mari Couasnon, Save the Children Eight years ago, I started my journey in biomedical science and research. While I have spent much of this time at the bench (with a cage of mice nearby, and pipette and agar plates in hand), I have never been far from the global health arena. I had taken what felt like countless hours of classes and lab work, so naturally I thought that I was "in the know" when it came to global health. You can imagine then my surprise and embarrassment when during my intervie...
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It’s Time to Take the Air Out of Pneumonia

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November 13, 2017 : Authored by Keith Klugman, Director of Pneumonia at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this article sounds the siren for more affordable and more accessible PCV. While deaths due to pneumonia have reduced by 50% since 2000, there are still too many children who cannot access PCV. "Overall progress remains intolerably slow compared to other childhood diseases ... Approximately half of the world's children are still not receiving PCV. This leaves kids immediately vulnerab...
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Building Community Capacity to Fight Pneumonia And Save Children’s Lives

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Blog post by Amy Sarah Ginsburg and Kurabachew Abera Dr. Amy Ginsburg (Save the Children U.S.A.) and Dr. Kurabachew Abera (Save the Children Ethiopia), highlight the importance of country advocacy initiatives in overcoming existing challenges in achieving our ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. "Inequities in communities' abilities to access basic health care are not only between rich and poor countries, there are often significant disparities within countries. Our continued progress is dep...
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Voices from the Field: The Injustice in Dying from Pneumonia

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CEO blog post by Save the Children "You often hear people describe an illness with the cliché, "it doesn't discriminate." I want to be clear: Pneumonia discriminates."

 Read the blog post here . 
 To learn more about how Save the Children is fighting pneumonia for all children and how you can help, please visit SavetheChildren.org/pneumonia.  
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Fighting for Breath

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​With a foreword by Kofi Annan, a strong use of data, and the courageous leadership of Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children (UK), this is one of the most important reports to emerge on child pneumonia in decades. Read the report here . Access Kevin Watkin's blog post on pneumonia, released today in recognition of the launch of Save the Children's global pneumonia campaign here .
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Breathing Life Into Oxygen Access: How New Partnerships are Saving Lives

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by Dr. Bernard Olayo

 

Author Dr. Bernard Olayo introduces the Hewa Tele model as a solution to the problems around oxygen (lack of local supply, high cost, lack of political will, and lack of a systems solution) in low-resource settings:

 

"Every hour, 57 newborns die gasping for breath. What can make a difference between life and death for these tiny lives is oxygen – something that is simultaneously all around us but a precious and rare commodity in health facilities in developing countries... One promising solution is Hewa Tele (meaning “abundant air” in Swahili), an organization working in East Africa and ringing in hopes of closing the oxygen gap.

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Designing Field Trial Protocols in Ethiopia for Pneumonia Diagnostic Devices

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by Jonathan Howard Brand and Cindy McWhorter

 

The authors make it very clear: Timely and accurate diagnosis is critical to preventing pneumonia deaths.

 

"No child needs to die from pneumonia, yet it was reported that in the year 2015, one out of six childhood deaths were from it. We can end preventable childhood pneumonia deaths and UNICEF’s ARIDA project aims to support just that. Innovative ARIDA devices facilitate appropriate diagnosis of children where they need it most: close to home.

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It's Time To Take On The World's Most Lethal Killer Of Children

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by Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of Save the Children UK

 

We have been waiting a long time for a global health leader who is prepared to step up and call out governments and the international community for failing to fight the leading infectious threat to our children's survival - pneumonia - effectively. Enter Kevin Watkins: 

 

"The international community has been equally culpable. Less than 2% of global development aid is directed to pneumonia. Contrasts with malaria are striking. Donors have invested heavily in cutting malaria deaths, and with striking results. Child mortality has almost halved since 2000, falling at twice the rate for pneumonia."

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Living with Pneumonia: Three Stories From Around the Globe

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For World Pneumonia Day 2016, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has published the three stories of Dr. Ilaria Moneta, an Italian pediatrician currently on a MSF mission in the Central African; JonJon, a 33-year-old from the United States; and Garry, a 35-year old from the United Kingdom.

 

All are living or working with pneumonia. These stories "show both the ongoing toll the disease takes and the difference in outcomes that are possible when one has access to vaccines and medications, and when one does not."

 

Read the article here. 

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