Using risk reduction, immunization, and case management, it is possible to significantly lower child mortality from pneumonia, according to a study led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health  and published in this month’s issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

"Population-based preventive measures and expanding community-based case management appear to be the most effective options for reducing pneumonia mortality. Adding these measures to existing facility-based case management would increase the efficiency of health system as a whole," the authors write.

Investigators found that combining a number of strategies—including vaccines against Hib and S. pneumoniae, efficacious case management, breastfeeding promotion, and zinc supplementation—along with environmental and nutritional interventions, can reduce total child mortality by 17%.

"The interventions we examined already exist, but are not fully implemented in the developing world. In addition, implementation of these interventions do not require a great deal of new infrastructure to carry out," said Louis Niessen, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of International Health. "Fully funding and implementing these interventions could bring us a big step closer towards reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals."