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World Health Organization
In the early 1980s, the global burden of childhood mortality due to pneumonia led the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop a pneumonia control strategy suitable for countries with limited resources and constrained health systems. Management of pneumonia cases formed the cornerstone of this strategy. Simple signs were identified to classify varying severities of pneumonia in settings with little or no access to diagnostic technology; the classifications determined the appropriate case management actions. Children with fast breathing were classified as having “pneumonia” and were given an oral antibiotic (at that time oral cotrimoxazole) to take at home for five days. Children who had chest indrawing with or without fast breathing were classified as having “severe pneumonia” and were referred to the closest higher-level health facility for treatment with injectable penicillin.