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2 December, 2019 12:15:40 PM

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Daycare system can curb severity of childhood pneumonia, say experts

Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Daycare system can curb severity of childhood pneumonia, say experts

More than one child died of pneumonia every hour in Bangladesh in 2018, accounting for the death of more than 12,000 children, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) has reported.

The report was tabled at a dissemination seminar organised by ICDDR’B at its Sasakawa auditorium in the capital yesterday. The seminar was held in collaboration with the University of Basel, Switzerland, and the University of Kentucky, the US.

According to experts at the seminar, a daycare management approach within the Bangladesh healthcare system can curb the severity of childhood pneumonia as well as reduce healthcare cost.

They said that 120 million episodes of pneumonia annually affect children under five years around the globe. Of these, over 10 per cent cases (14 million) progress to severe episodes and require hospitalisation.

In developing countries, acute lower respiratory tract infection (ALRI), particularly pneumonia, is the leading cause of death among children under five years, accounting for one in every five of the five million deaths per year.

The scientists also reported that the daycare model is equally effective, safe, and much less expensive compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO)-recommended standard management of severe childhood pneumonia, which involves hospitalisation of children for supportive treatment including oxygen therapy, fluid and nutritional management, and antibiotics.

The daycare pneumonia management has great potential for scale-up within the existing healthcare system of Bangladesh and other developing countries, they added.

While hospitalisation is the recommended care for severe pneumonia, most low- and middle-income countries often do not have enough paediatric beds and hospitals to meet the demand of all children with severe pneumonia or malnutrition.

Additionally, mothers of ill children have other childcare and household responsibilities that prevent their ability to attend the child patient during hospitalisation, which is often mandatory for the entire hospital stay.

Further, the transportation cost for long-distance travel to the hospital, lack of adequate childcare at home, and other reasons are also significant limitations to hospitalisation.

Globally, alternative treatment modalities like the “day-care model” are therefore being sought for children who cannot be hospitalised but are too sick to be managed at home, they said.

Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, senior director, Nutrition and Clinical Services Division, ICDDR,B welcomed the participants, while Dr Nur Haque Alam, Emeritus Scientist at ICDDR,B and principal investigator of the study, presented an overview of the study which took place during 2015 to 2019. Dr Marufa Sultana, health economics PhD candidate at Deakin University, Australia, presented a paper on the cost-effectiveness prospects of the model.

Dr Halida Akter, former country representative of Pathfinder Bangladesh and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, the US, presented the findings of a series of clinical trials which showed 90 per cent of children with severe pneumonia with or without malnutrition can safely be treated in daycare clinics.

BK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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