LiST: Lives Saved Tool

IJE OxfordTheodoratou, E., et al., The effect of case management on childhood pneumonia mortality in developing countries. Int J Epidemiol, 2010. 39 Suppl 1: p. i155-71.


Background With the aim of populating the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) with parameters of effectiveness of existing interventions, we conducted a systematic review of the literature assessing the effect of pneumonia case management on mortality from childhood pneumonia.


Methods This review covered the following interventions: community case management with antibiotic treatment, and hospital treatment with antibiotics, oxygen, zinc and vitamin A. Pneumonia mortality outcomes were sought where available but data were also recorded on secondary outcomes. We summarized results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cluster RCTs, quasi-experimental studies and observational studies across outcome measures using standard meta-analysis methods and used a set of standardized rules developed for the purpose of populating the LiST with required parameters, which dealt with the issues of comparability of the studies in a uniform way across a spectrum of childhood conditions.


Results We estimate that community case management of pneumonia could result in a 70% reduction in mortality from pneumonia in 0–5-year-old children. In contrast treatment of pneumonia episodes with zinc and vitamin A is ineffective in reducing pneumonia mortality. There is insufficient evidence to make a quantitative estimate of the effect of hospital case management on pneumonia mortality based on the published data.


Conclusion The available evidence reinforces the effectiveness of community and hospital case management with World Health Organization-recommended antibiotics and the lack of effect of zinc and vitamin A supportive treatment for children with pneumonia. Evidence from one trial demonstrates the effectiveness of oxygen therapy but further research is required to give higher quality evidence so that an effect estimate can be incorporated into the LiST model. We identified no trials that separately evaluated the effectiveness of other supportive care interventions. The summary estimates of effect on pneumonia mortality will inform the LiST model.

Go to Article

Background In high-income countries, administration of antenatal steroids is standard care for women with anticipated preterm labour. However, although >1 million deaths due to preterm birth occur annually, antenatal steroids are not routine practice in low-income countries where most of these deaths occur.

Objectives To review the evidence for and estimate the effect on cause-specific neonatal mortality of administration of antenatal steroids to women with anticipated preterm labour, with additional analysis for the effect in low- and middle-income countries.

Methods We conducted systematic reviews using standardized abstraction forms. Quality of evidence was assessed using an adapted GRADE approach. Existing meta-analyses were reviewed for relevance to low/middle-income countries, and new meta-analysis was performed.

Results We identified 44 studies, including 18 randomised control trials (RCTs) (14 in high-income countries) in a Cochrane meta-analysis, which suggested that antenatal steroids decrease neonatal mortality among preterm infants (<36 weeks gestation) by 31% [relative risk (RR) = 0.69; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58–0.81]. Our new meta-analysis of four RCTs from middle-income countries suggests 53% mortality reduction (RR = 0.47; 95% CI 0.35–0.64) and 37% morbidity reduction (RR = 0.63; 95% CI 0.49–0.81). Observational study mortality data were consistent. The control group in these equivalent studies was routine care (ventilation and, in many cases, surfactant). In low-income countries, many preterm babies currently receive little or no medical care. It is plausible that antenatal steroids may be of even greater effect when tested in these settings.

Conclusions Based on high-grade evidence, antenatal steroid therapy is very effective in preventing neonatal mortality and morbidity, yet remains at low coverage in low/middle-income countries. If fully scaled up, this intervention could save up to 500 000 neonatal lives annually.

Featured News

LiST Analysis in UNICEF report: 12 million under-five deaths can be saved from diarrhoea and pneumonia

November 15, 2016 – The Lives Saved Tool was used in UNICEF’s recent publication, Ending Child Deaths from Pneumonia and Diarrhoea - UNICEF report: One is Too Many.

Read more ...
Go to top