Clinical outcomes of pneumonia and other comorbidities in children aged 2-59 months in Lilongwe, Malawi: Protocol for the prospective observational study "innovative treatments for pneumonia"

Amy Sarah Ginsburg, Susanne May, Evangelyn Nkwopara, Gwen Ambler, Eric D. McCollum, Tisungane Mvalo, Ajib Phiri, Norman Lufesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide among children below 5 years of age. Clinical trials are conducted to determine optimal treatment; however, these trials often exclude children with comorbidities and severe illness. Conclusions: Given the paucity of data from Africa, African-based research is necessary to establish optimal management of childhood pneumonia in malaria-endemic settings in the region. An expanded evidence base that includes children with pneumonia and other comorbidities, who are at high risk for mortality or have other complications and are therefore typically excluded from childhood pneumonia clinical trials, can contribute to future iterations of the World Health Organization Integrated Management of Childhood Illness guidelines. Methods: The study enrolled 1000 children with pneumonia presenting to the outpatient departments of Kamuzu Central or Bwaila District Hospitals in Lilongwe, Malawi, who were excluded from concurrent randomized controlled clinical trials investigating fast breathing and chest indrawing pneumonia and who met the inclusion criteria for this prospective observational study. Each child received standard care for their illnesses per Malawian guidelines and hospital protocol and was prospectively followed up with scheduled study visits on days 1, 2 (if hospitalized), 6, 14 (in person), and 30 (by phone). Our primary objectives are to describe the clinical outcomes of children who meet the inclusion criteria for this study and to investigate whether the percentages of children cured at day 14 among those with either fast breathing or chest indrawing pneumonia and comorbidities such as severe malaria, anemia, severe acute malnutrition, or HIV are lower than those in children without these comorbidities in the standard care groups in concurrent clinical trials. This study was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board, Malawi College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee, and the Malawi Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board. Objective: This prospective observational study aimed to assess the clinical outcomes of children aged 2-59 months with both pneumonia and other comorbidities in a malaria-endemic region of Malawi. Results: The Innovative Treatments in Pneumonia project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1105080) in April 2014. Enrollment in this study began in 2016, and the primary results are expected in 2019.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13377
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Africa
  • Childhood pneumonia
  • Comorbidities
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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