BREATHE – Uncovering the Health System Burden of Pneumococcal Infections

Programme: MSD
Project Status: ONGOING (January 2024 – December 2024)


What aims and scope

Although most countries report on childhood pneumococcal infections, data for at-risk and older adults is sparse. This project aims to uncover the health system burden of invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal pneumonia as reported by health managers and the health workforce in 5 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Italy & Portugal).

How it will become possible 

EHMA will conduct a survey reaching a comprehensive group of stakeholders who may feel the health system impacts of pneumococcal infections including health managers, hospital managers, general practitioners, nurses, respiratory specialists and care providers working in long-term care facilities. The survey will be translated into German, French, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese and validated by vetted experts in each study country to ensure that it is properly adapted to capture health system insights from different contexts. The data collected through this survey will be further validated through a series of in-depth interviews before being synthesised, analysed and eventually published by EHMA in a detailed report.

Where EHMA delivers 

The work associated with this project is being completed exclusively by EHMA. As Europe’s leading health management association, EHMA will leverage scientific and technical expertise from its network to develop the research methodology, circulate the survey, analyse the data and produce and disseminate the final report.


Many of the health system resources dedicated to vaccination and infectious disease prevention are directed towards programs for infants and children, through extensive and accessible childhood vaccination schedules. This traditional focus has undoubtedly led to the near eradication of several preventable childhood diseases and had incredibly positive impacts on population health. Despite this track record of success for children, however, the ability of our health systems to make vaccinations accessible throughout the full life course has been less consistent.  This project aims to address this challenge by highlighting the burden that pneumococcal infections, which are vaccine-preventable, have on our health systems. The results of this research will offer valuable evidence to health managers and policymakers across Europe who are working to improve life-course access to pneumococcal vaccination.


Related Projects

ReSolVe – Health System Burden of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

ReSolVe – Health System Burden of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Developing evidence-based recommendations to reduce the burden and impact of RSV in paediatric settings and strengthen healthcare systems in Europe.

View More
Overcoming obstacles to vaccination

Overcoming obstacles to vaccination

Supporting Member States to overcome obstacles to vaccination of physical, practical, and administrative nature, with a view to increasing vaccination coverage rates in the European Union.

View More

What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain