When discussing public health campaigns and disease prevention, most people want to immediately jump to the solution – we want a vaccine, a cure, a narrative – so we can stop the cycle of disease and suffering. But we must remember to crawl before we walk, and this cliché could not ring more true than in the world of disease monitoring and surveillance, particularly for a disease like pneumococcal, a deadly bacterial infection that kills more than 1.6 million people annually, including half a million children.

Around the world, more than 800,000 children die each year from childhood pneumonia. 99 percent of these children are living in developing countries.

Today Ghana is doing something that no other country in Africa has ever done.

Last week in separate deals with the GAVI Alliance, the drug companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed to increase sales of cut-price pneumonia vaccines by 180 million doses, a 50% increase from previous commitments.

Pages