Each day, diarrhea kills more than 2,000 children under five. 90% of these child deaths happen in poor countries of Asia and Africa, where safe water, sanitation, and access to urgent medical care are limited.1 But this crisis can be solved: Diarrheal disease is preventable and treatable.
Diarrhea was once a top global health priority, but urgency has faded amid a crowded health landscape, limited funding, and low awareness of proven prevention and treatment solutions.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, improved access to sanitation, safewater, and oral rehydration solution (ORS) helped slash diarrhea-related deaths by nearly half. But interest has waned, and reductions in illness and death have stagnated and even reversed in several countries.2
Defeating diarrheal disease must be a global priority once again. The loss of life due to preventable and treatable illness is something we can change. New tools like vaccines and zinc give us an opportunity to re-prioritize diarrhea control, and advocates like you can be the voice of the movement.
1 Unicef. Committing to child survival: A promise renewed. 2012. New York: Unicef; 2012.
2 Forsberg, BC. Diarrhoea case management in low- and middle-income countries—an unfinished agenda. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007;85:42-48.