Two New Reports Highlight Stalled Progress Against Diarrheal Disease: Nearly 1.6 Million Children Die Each Year From These Preventable and Treatable Diseases
Call to Action demonstrates commitment to combating a leading killer of children worldwide
Today, diarrheal disease receives significantly less funding than other diseases, despite accounting for 17 percent of deaths of children under five. And in some parts of the world, the severity of the disease is increasing. Diarrheal Disease: Solutions to Defeat a Global Killer from PATH and Fatal Neglect: How Health Systems are Failing to Comprehensively Address Child Mortality from WaterAid America highlight the urgent need to refocus attention on diarrheal disease, a prolific global killer. At the same time, a broad and diverse group of more than 75 organizations from many sectors have signed a Call to Action, demonstrating a unified show of support for aggressively meeting the challenge diarrheal disease presents today.
"The global health community knows what is necessary to save the lives of children suffering from diarrheal disease," said Dr.
Key findings in the reports indicate:
- The international aid system and developing-country governments must respond to evidence on child mortality--of which diarrheal disease is a leading cause--and better target resources where the disease burden is the greatest.
- Comprehensive health systems strengthening that addresses environmental factors such as sanitation and water are critical to improving overall health and reducing diarrheal disease deaths. The Millennium Development Goal on child survival (MDG 4) will remain beyond our reach until diarrheal disease and the poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water that can lead to it are addressed.
- There are more lifesaving prevention and treatment solutions for diarrheal disease than any other major childhood killer. These interventions include safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene, breastfeeding and optimal complementary feeding, rotavirus vaccines, zinc treatment, and oral rehydration therapy (ORT)/oral rehydration solution (ORS).
- Millions of children's lives could be saved by addressing diarrheal disease with a coordinated approach among health care providers, policymakers, and the international aid community focusing on both prevention and treatment interventions.
The report releases come at a critical time when the World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing data from studies of vaccines to prevent rotavirus--the most common and lethal diarrheal disease--from clinical trials in
"While diarrheal disease is a global killer, today the burden is greatest in developing nations in
The Call to Action urges advocates, including organizations from the health, development, environmental, water/sanitation, and research communities, to push for adequate funding of both prevention and treatment interventions for diarrheal disease. These organizations, such as the UN Foundation, Save the Children, WaterAid America, and
"The persisting high mortality rate from diarrheal disease in the presence of existing, cost-effective interventions and available resources to implement them represents a continuing scandal," said
To access Diarrheal Disease: Solutions to Defeat a Global Killer, please visit: http://www.eddcontrol.org/files/Solutions_to_Defeat_a_Global_Killer.pdf. To access Fatal Neglect: How Health Systems are Failing to Comprehensively Address Child Mortality, please visit: www.wateraidamerica.org/fatalneglect.To read the Call to Action and get involved, please visit: http://www.eddcontrol.org/call-to-action.php.
PATH is an international nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. By collaborating with diverse public- and private-sector partners, PATH helps provide appropriate health technologies and vital strategies that change the way people think and act. PATH's work improves global health and well-being.
WaterAid works to overcome poverty by enabling the world's poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education. WaterAid works in
Contact: PATH: Paul Quirk 202-572-2879/202-549-5394 (cell) Paul.Quirk@gmmb.com Water Aid America: Jonathan Rich 347-262-9115 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org