UCL News


UCL in the News: WHO guidelines for treatment of pneumonia infected children under one

29 April 2007

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) guidelines for treatment of pneumonia in children under one year in Africa are inadequate and need revision, conclude authors of an article published in this week's edition of the Lancet.


Lisa McNally, Centre for International Health & Development, UCL Institute of Child Health, and colleagues from University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, measured predictors of treatment failure and causes of non-responsive pneumonia in 358 children under five years old admitted to hospital with severe pneumonia in Durban, South Africa. …

The authors say: "Polymicrobial disease is a key predictor of treatment failure and there is a need for rapid low cost diagnostic methods to assist clinicians."

Dr McNally and her team also raise the issue of the increasing importance of HIV-exposed yet uninfected children as a public health concern. …

Whilst the widespread roll-out of prevention of mother to child HIV transmission strategies will reduce the number of pneumonia infected children admitted to hospital, the raised risk in HIV-exposed, uninfected children will assume increasing importance.

The authors conclude: "For children younger than one year, the present guidelines for treatment of severe pneumonia are inadequate because of high failure rates in infants born to HIV-infected mothers, and these guidelines need to be revised." …

'Medical News Today'