Pneumonia and the Child Lung Health Programme

The Union's Child Lung Health Programme (CLH) was originally developed to address the leading killer of children under five years of age, pneumonia. Beyond that, the overarching goal was to improve the survival and well being of young children in low-income countries by designing a sustainable and reproducible system for the surveillance, diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases in children in these settings.                                                  

The resulting health service delivery model uses standardised case management implemented through a step-wise approach, then monitored and evaluated with emphasis on reproducibility and efficacy, and most importantly sustainability. Using this model, it has been possible to implement accurate accounting for services, materials, and training, which enables the calculation of outcome per unit of cost and the regulation of supply and demand thus ensuring no disruptions of essential medicines and materials.

The CLH programme was initially implemented in Malawi, where it showed that a significant reduction in pneumonia-related mortality could be achieved by improved management at the district hospital level, even in the context of a high HIV-endemic setting.