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Experts launch pneumonia compendium

Research News
Friday, February 26, 2016 - 3:45pm
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, publishing house Pinter & Martin and international health charity Teaching-aids at Low Cost (TALC) are pleased to announce the launch of Pneumonia in Children: Epidemiology, Prevention and Treatment, the first book addressing pneumonia in children, its prevention, treatment and public health control.

Held on Friday 26th February at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the book launch will draw much-needed international attention to childhood pneumonia, which has a poor profile despite being the biggest cause of child death outside the neonatal period globally.

Written by two of the world’s foremost experts on pneumonia, Professor Kim Mulholland from Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Dr Martin W Weber from the World Health Organization (WHO), the book is set to become a standard reference on the subject.

“We expect that this book will fill an important gap in the field, covering all aspects of childhood pneumonia, with a particular emphasis on developing countries where the burden is greatest.” says Professor Mulholland.

Pneumonia causes up to one million childhood deaths globally each year. Management of pneumonia in most parts of the world has changed very little in the past 30 years, despite unacceptably high fatality rates.

In Pneumonia in Children the authors comprehensively outline the epidemiology and aetiology of pneumonia and its risk factors, which include poverty, malnutrition and environmental influences. They discuss current clinical guidelines as promoted by WHO, the role of the new vaccines in pneumonia prevention, best treatment and essential drugs.

Expertly written and aimed at doctors, other senior health workers and all those interested in public health approaches to pneumonia, the book highlights the shortcomings of pneumonia control and how current approaches struggle to reach the most vulnerable populations, suggesting ways to remedy this situation.

“The neglected ‘drug’ for pneumonia management is oxygen. Making oxygen more widely available and using it appropriately will contribute to an effective global plan for pneumonia and in child survival initiatives,” says Dr Weber.

In Australia this subject has particular relevance as Indigenous Australian children living in remote areas have very high rates of pneumonia.  While effective treatment has reduced the mortality among Indigenous children, the high rates of disease have serious consequences for health later in life.

The book is co-produced by Teaching-aids At Low Cost - a unique charity that aims to promote health and medical knowledge throughout the world by supplying low cost health text books and teaching materials to health workers in developing countries.

TALC Chief Executive Madeleine Bates says, “We, and our colleagues at Pinter & Martin, are delighted about the publication of this vital text.  Pneumonia kills over a million children annually, accounting for nearly one in five deaths of children under five worldwide. We hope and believe that this book will make a positive contribution to a reduction in these child mortality figures.”

Read more about Professor Kim Mulholland's work  here: