Engine | MHP joins global drive to prevent childhood pneumonia deaths

A death counter is being used in a powerful social media campaign by Engine | MHP to raise awareness that childhood pneumonia is the world's biggest infectious disease killer of children - claiming more than 800,000 lives annually.

More than 2,000 children and babies will die by midnight tonight, according to Every Breath Counts
More than 2,000 children and babies will die by midnight tonight, according to Every Breath Counts

New client

The agency has been appointed as the preferred communications partner for Every Breath Counts, a global coalition of 40 organisations with a mission to end preventable child pneumonia deaths by 2030.

Death rate

Working with digital partners Groovy Gecko, it is running a 24-hour Twitter livestream from the coalition’s Twitter account today – to mark World Pneumonia Day.

This is highlighting hard-hitting mortality statistics from childhood pneumonia around the world with a real-time counter that is increasing by one every 39 seconds – the rate at which children are dying. 

By midnight tonight, the counter will have reached 2,215.

Digital comms

The social media campaign is being undertaken to amplify the traditional media work being conducted by the various coalition partners, which range from UNICEF to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is part of a new digital campaign being developed by the agency.

Messaging revolves around the lack of attention and funding to tackle childhood pneumonia, something that kills a child every 39 seconds but could be prevented through vaccination and is treatable with low-cost antibiotics and oxygen.

Arabella Moore, director at MHP Health, said: "Our support for the coalition and its ambitious goal to reduce childhood pneumonia deaths is an important step in MHP’s commitment to amplify our role in global health policy and advocacy, and to build new and strategic partnerships with the non-for-profit sector to help address the biggest challenges in health worldwide."

Androulla Kyrillou, advocacy and communication lead at Every Breath Counts Coalition, commented: "We’re delighted to be partnering with MHP to bring to life a social media strategy that highlights the importance of World Pneumonia Day. This milestone is an opportunity to launch a social media campaign that raises awareness of pneumonia and the devastating impact that this has on children and their families across the world."


The campaign aims to propel pneumonia to the top of the health agenda and is targeting national governments, policymakers and donors in a bid to increase access and funding for pneumonia treatment and prevention strategies. 

Public engagement strategies are being deployed through social channels to raise awareness of the urgent unmet medical need and to call on decision makers to commit to funding and action to reduce childhood pneumonia deaths globally.

Next steps

Engine | MHP will continue to provide social media content in the run up to the coalition’s first global forum on childhood pneumonia, which will take place in Barcelona from 29-31 January 2020.

The campaign’s effectiveness will be measured through actions and engagement between now and the forum, as well as its reach, the number and weighting of influencers engaging with the content and the response from policy stakeholders.

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