What proportion of children with symptoms of pneumonia are taken to an appropriate health provider? This is a question that all countries should be asking as the answer is critical for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal for child survival (SDG 3.2) and progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under five years in most countries. Increasing the proportion of children who seek care when they are sick will be an essential tool to increase treatment rates and drive child pneumonia deaths to below 3 per 1,000 live births (the GAPPD* target) and overall child deaths to below 25 per 1,000 live births (the SDG 3.2 target).
Careseeking for a child exhibiting the symptoms of pneumonia is now the official indicator for “child treatment” in the UHC Service Coverage Index developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.
This means that countries seeking to achieve UHC must ensure that more than 90% of children with pneumonia symptoms are taken to an appropriate health facility or provider.
How well are countries performing on pneumonia careseeking? This scorecard lists 60 countries where more than 1,000 children died due to pneumonia in 2017 according to how well they are performing on pneumonia careseeking. Together, these countries account for 97% of all child pneumonia deaths. The scorecard uses the latest UNICEF estimates of pneumonia careseeking together with the 2017 Global Burden of Disease estimates of national child pneumonia mortality.
The results are alarming. Take a look at the Pneumonia Careseeking Scorecard 2019.