Every Breath Counts Coalition

Fighting for breath: the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia

The Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia


One child dies of pneumonia every 39 seconds. Pneumonia is the world’s biggest infectious killer of children under five, with over 800,000 deaths every year. The PCV vaccine is a crucial preventative measure for children who may not be able to access care easily; however, there are currently 54 zero dose PCV countries in every region of the world.


Between November 2019 and January 2020, MHP developed a disruptive campaign to raise awareness of the shocking mortality statistics, but the preventable and treatable nature of childhood pneumonia. The campaign was centred around three key activities:

Firstly, we produced a 24-hour twitter real-time counter that increase by one every 39 seconds livestreamed on World Pneumonia Day, putting the shocking number of child deaths every day at the heart of the campaign

Secondly, we sought to elevate childhood pneumonia on the global health agenda by harnessing powerful voices from the EBC coalition partners to deliver the urgent 39-second message

Thirdly, we attended the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia to generate compelling, urgent social media content that will hold governments and international actors to account – digitalising their pledges, capturing their commitments on film, and disseminating their messages to global and national audiences through multiple channels and shareable content.


The real-time counter generated over 40,000 impressions and 23.2K reach, and the #StopPneumonia #FightingForBreath and #EveryBreathCounts were used over 14,000 times on social media between 12 November and 31 January – an increase of over 1000% on the preceding four-month period.

More than 200 attendees – representing national Health Ministries and multi-national health organisations – signed the Global Forum’s Declaration, and the 23 commitment videos gained unprecedented traction on social media, with the most popular video by national Nigerian DJ star DJ Cuppy (founder of the Cuppy Foundation) which was viewed over 2,000 times.

All the campaign policy objectives were achieved – amongst a range of commitments as a result of the Global Forum:

  1. The Government of Spain has pledged to contribute generously to the next Gavi replenishment
  2. Gavi agreed to waive its stipulation that countries can only purchase PCV vaccine at GAVI prices if they have achieved 70% minimum coverage of all other essential vaccines
  3. The Indonesian government will introduce the PCV vaccine as part of routine immunisation for children under five for the first time, which will massively increase coverage in one of the highest burden countries