THE PROBLEM OF PEDIATRIC PNEUMONIA
Millions of patients die every year from respiratory infections, due to inadequate resources and delay in care.
Occur in Developing Nations
Cause of Child Mortality
Die Outside the Hospital
Rural Health Centers (RHC’s) in developing nations face an array of challenges in their battle with pediatric pneumonia. Here is a list of the major problems they face:
- Patient Health: Pediatric pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death among children in the world today, claiming nearly 1 million lives every year of those under 5 year of age [World Health Organization (WHO), 2015-2016; UNICEF, 2017]. More than 99% of these deaths occur in developing nations [UNICEF, 2018].
- Infrastructure: no reliable electricity, water, roads, buildings
- Human Resources: low-skilled personnel, high job rotation.
- Financial: High maintenance and operating costs with frequent equipment breakdown.
- Environmental: hot, dusty, humid conditions; insects and rodents.
- Remote Locations: RHC’s can be hours away from a hospital that has a pediatric ward and supplemental oxygen. 80% of children die BEFORE getting to the hospital.
Experts judge that “the most effective intervention to reduce pneumonia- related deaths for the majority would be improved access to early care where simple, appropriate interventions are provided, including referral where necessary… and ready availability of antibiotics and oxygen [Stephen Graham et al., 2008].” Currently, while antibiotics are readily available at key points in the care-seeking process, oxygen is inaccessible until the hospital-level.