We have the tools in hand today to prevent and treat deadly diarrhea.
The integration of diarrhea prevention and treatment approaches can maximize impact. Combining interventions can decrease expense and increase efficiency.1 And national policies that encompass all options help to tailor approaches for varying needs in different communities.
Integration of policies to address diarrhea and pneumonia promise major impact as well. Cross-cutting preventive strategies include exclusive breastfeeding, handwashing with soap, safe water, sanitation, nutrition, and immunization. If access to cost effective interventions for pneumonia and diarrhea continue to improve in the poorest communities around the world, we can save more than 2 million children’s lives by 2015.2
1 Baqui AH, Black RE, El Arifeen S, Yunus M, Zaman K, Begum N, Roess AA, Santosham M. Zinc therapy for diarrhoea increased the use of oral rehydration therapy and reduced the use of antibiotics in Bangladeshi children. Journal of Health Population and Nutrition. 2004 Dec;22(4):440-442.
2 UNICEF. Pneumonia and diarrhoea: Tackling the deadliest diseases for the world’s poorest children. New York:UNICEF; 2012.