Resources and Geographic Access to Care for Severe Pediatric Pneumonia in Four Resource-limited Settings

Suzanne M. Simkovich, Lindsay J. Underhill, Miles A. Kirby, Mary E. Crocker, Dina Goodman, John P. McCracken, Lisa M. Thompson, Anaité Diaz-Artiga, Adly Castañaza-Gonzalez, Sarada S. Garg, Kalpana Balakrishnan, Gurusamy Thangavel, Ghislaine Rosa, Jennifer L. Peel, Thomas F. Clasen, Eric D. McCollum, William Checkley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Rationale: Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide. Identifying and appropriately managing severe pneumonia in a timely manner improves outcomes. Little is known about the readiness of healthcare facilities to manage severe pediatric pneumonia in low-resource settings. Objectives: As part of the HAPIN (Household Air Pollution Intervention Network) trial, we sought to identify healthcare facilities that were adequately resourced to manage severe pediatric pneumonia in Jalapa, Guatemala (J-GUA); Puno, Peru (P-PER); Kayonza, Rwanda (K-RWA); and Tamil Nadu, India (T-IND). We conducted a facility-based survey of available infrastructure, staff, equipment, and medical consumables. Facilities were georeferenced, and a road network analysis was performed. Measurements and Main Results: Of the 350 healthcare facilities surveyed, 13% had adequate resources to manage severe pneumonia, 37% had pulse oximeters, and 44% had supplemental oxygen. Mean (±SD) travel time to an adequately resourced facility was 41±19 minutes in J-GUA, 99±64 minutes in P-PER, 40±19 minutes in K-RWA, and 31±19 minutes in T-IND. Expanding pulse oximetry coverage to all facilities reduced travel time by 44% in J-GUA, 29% in P-PER, 29% in K-RWA, and 11% in T-IND (all P<0.001). Conclusions: Most healthcare facilities in low-resource settings of the HAPIN study area were inadequately resourced to care for severe pediatric pneumonia. Early identification of cases and timely referral is paramount. The provision of pulse oximeters to all health facilities may be an effective approach to identify cases earlier and refer them for care and in a timely manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-197
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2022


  • Health service accessibility
  • Low- and middle-income country
  • Pneumonia
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulse oximetry


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