Recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pneumococcal Disease (full report, www.appg-preventpneumo.org/download/appg_report.pdf)
Recognised international health funding mechanisms such as the Global Fund and IFFIm fund immunisations and the management of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. As a result, UK Government statements, policies and strategies specifically recognise and focus on these diseases, as the UK Government is a major driver and financial contributor to both mechanisms. The AMC funds prevention of pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia, through a similarly recognised mechanism.
We recommend that the UK Government give equal prominence and standing to pneumococcal disease and pneumonia in its statements, policies and strategies as with malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS . We also recommend that world governments give
equal prominence and standing to pneumonia and pneumococcal disease as they ascribe to other conditions.
The lack of a standard message around pneumococcal disease, technical factors and poor surveillance, have exacerbated the pervasive underappreciation of pneumococcal disease as a public health priority.
We recommend that the governments of developing countries increase their commitments, where possible, to prevent and treat pneumonia and meningitis, the two most common manifestations of serious pneumococcal disease.
R ecomendation 3
We believe that ongoing monitoring and evaluation is essential to secure public trust in the use of the large sums of public funding committed to the pneumococcal AMC. Public scrutiny of spend, transparency of management and robust evidence-based statistics are essential to
maintain this trust.
We recommend that the Department for International Development (DFID) and the AMC partners publish regular updates on the progress of the pneumococcal AMC programme.
We recommend that the UK Government and all AMC donors continue to monitor and evaluate the pilot AMC and work to assure that future AMC s benefit from the lessons learned.
R ecomendation 4
We believe that continued research into pneumococcal disease and vaccination is vital for improved epidemiology, more accurate diagnosis and monitoring of changes in serotype. Current PCVs are not effective against all serotypes of pneumococcal disease, particularly some strains that are common in adults and the elderly, (S. pneumoniae kills about
800,000 adults annually).208 In addition to this, herd immunity should ensure that adult mortality declines following the introduction of vaccination in children. AMC donors should engage with pharmaceutical companies to discuss developing vaccines effective against a larger variety of S. pneumoniae serotypes.
We recommend that AMC donors and other international governments consider supporting further research initiatives to discover and develop novel vaccines for the developing world and for adults who are also affected by pneumococcal disease.
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AMC donor nations and organisations, as well as other key stakeholders should encourage other governments to contribute to supporting and backing further efforts to strengthen health systems including the areas of education, prevention, treatment and management of pneumococcal disease and pneumonia and other diseases that affect the developing world.
We recommend that the UK Government and other organisations, such as GAV I, support ongoing international efforts to strengthen health systems in the developing world, including through the International Health Partnership.
R ecomendation 6
Educational, environmental and cultural factors increase the risk of pneumococcal disease. For example, parents may not recognise the symptoms in their children and might not appreciate the importance of seeking medical help.209 Overcrowding, poor domestic air quality and
malnutrition also increase the likelihood of exposure, transmission and the development of the disease.210 The MRF stated in their written evidence that “…it is particularly important to engage with the public. Effective communication about disease burden and the importance of vaccination plays a vital role.”
We recommend that governments and agencies take this opportunity to educate people on the signs, symptoms and risk factors for pneumococcal disease.