Beats of life

(Original language documentary)

ARIDA Project (Acute Respiratory Infection Diagnosis Aid)

Improving the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia to save the lives of thousands of children around the world.


    Pneumonia is the leading cause of infant mortality in children under 5 years of age worldwide, with more than 800,000 deaths annually. Every 39 seconds a child dies from this disease.

    Despite the fact that pneumonia is a preventable, treatable and curable disease, there are no tools that can be easily used at all levels of the health system.

    The ”la Caixa” Foundation and UNICEF promoted the ARIDA program between 2015 and 2021 to address the pneumonia situation with a holistic approach, from the impact on the ground to international advocacy efforts.

    ARIDA has, among other achievements, accelerated the development of two new technologies (Philips CHARM and Rad G from Masimo) that can automatically count children's breaths per minute and measure oxygen in the blood, thereby improving detection, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

    Since 2020 both devices are available in the UNICEF supply catalogue.

    One of the main activities of ARIDA was the celebration of the first Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia that was held in January 2020 in Barcelona. This high-level event was attended by 350 delegates from more than 55 countries, including 22 government delegations from countries with a high burden of infant mortality from pneumonia. Five governments and seven organizations announced new commitments to reduce deaths from childhood pneumonia.

    As stated in the Global Forum Declaration we are committed to achieving unprecedented levels of collaboration in order to reduce childhood pneumonia deaths to the global target outlined in the Integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) of less than 3 per 1,000 births. And we are committed to contributing towards the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) promise to end all preventable child deaths by 2030.

    In 2020 the documentary "Beats of life" was presented. It was created within the framework of the ARIDA program with the aim of helping to raise awareness about pneumonia and the need to unite efforts to deal with this disease.

    Four studies and eleven implementation evaluations have been carried out in Ethiopia, Nepal and Bolivia in the field to test the use of these devices in remote areas and regions with diverse conditions.


    1,686,533 people:

    • 1.3 million children have had access to antibiotics to treat pneumonia in Mozambique, Ethiopia, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.

    • 379,487 children have benefited from better healthcare in low-context settings in Bolivia, Nepal, and Ethiopia.

    • 7,046 front-line health workers have been trained to improve essential primary health services. They have also been trained in improving the diagnosis of pneumonia through the technological devices provided by ARIDA in Bolivia, Ethiopia and Nepal.


    Bolivia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.


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  • © UNICEF Malaria Consortium Maurel

  • © UNICEF Malaria Consortium Maurel

  • © UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Mersha

  • © UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Mersha

  • © UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Mersha

  • © UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Mersha