Monday, April 7, 2014

Pneumonia vaccine shows promise in Kenya

IRIN: Better uptake of the new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in children under five alongside more robust health monitoring systems at community level could help stem pneumonia related-deaths in children in Kenya: 20 percent of deaths in children under five are attributable to the disease, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.

Immunization against Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), pneumococcus (a bacterium that can cause ear, sinus and bloodstream infections and pneumonia), measles and whooping cough (pertussis) is the most effective way to prevent the disease, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

Globally, pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under five, killing an estimated 1.1 million each year, according to WHO. Caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi, pneumonia “can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition and by addressing environmental factors”, says WHO.

The Kenyan government has been targeting under-five children for PCV vaccination through a partnership with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, GAVI. Since January 2011, scientists have been tracking the vaccine’s coverage versus pneumococcal disease-related hospital admissions among residents of the costal town of Kilifi....

A focal area of alveolar filling by polymorphonuclear leukocytes and fibrin. In bronchopneumonia the alveolar inflammation is initially localized around a terminal or respiratory bronchiole (between arrows) which is the initial site of infection from which spread into peribronchiolar alveoli occurs. Image by Yale Rosen, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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