DefeatDD movement

Welcome to PATH’s Defeat Diarrheal Disease Initiative. We’re a convener of diverse stakeholders who work to raise awareness about the burden of diarrheal disease and the power of simple, cost-effective, and proven prevention and treatment solutions.

We’re here because the current levels of awareness and attention to diarrheal disease don’t match the scope of the problem. Though child mortality rates have been cut in half since 1990, diarrhea still kills half a million children per year.

Welcome to PATH’s Defeat Diarrheal Disease Initiative. We’re a convener of diverse stakeholders who work to raise awareness about the burden of diarrheal disease and the power of simple, cost-effective, and proven prevention and treatment solutions.

We’re here because the current levels of awareness and attention to diarrheal disease don’t match the scope of the problem. Though child mortality rates have been cut in half since 1990, diarrhea still kills half a million children per year. Those who do survive often struggle against repeated infections and face long-term consequences from physical and cognitive stunting. Repeated illness bleeds families of financial security and nations from a productive workforce. News of cholera outbreaks in emergency settings give only small hints of the ongoing scourge of diarrhea happening daily behind the headlines where basic needs like clean water and primary healthcare are limited.

This global health crisis has not one but many solutions, and technical guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF calls for investing in multiple tools, including rotavirus vaccines; oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc; breastfeeding; nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Countries on the front lines of the crisis say the same thing. 

In 2008, rotavirus vaccines were on the verge of World Health Organization approval for use in poor countries, where the burden is highest. PATH met with health ministers in several countries to explain the burden of rotavirus and share data on the forthcoming vaccine and its potential to protect their children. Once they understood that rotavirus was the deadliest form of childhood diarrhea, they were enthusiastic about the promise of the vaccine. They knew diarrhea was a severe problem in child health even if they didn’t know the specific name of the virus causing most severe infections.  “But,” they said, “we also need to address the problem of diarrheal disease more broadly, and not just with vaccines.”

We’re here to call for the investment in these tools with one voice. Integrating advocacy, funding, and programs to defeat diarrheal disease is a learning process. Approaches must vary among settings, but it always starts the same way: with conversation. We hope you’ll join us here as we share the latest research, trends, and questions as we build insights to defeat diarrheal disease together.

defeatdd campaigns

We bring diverse sectors together to break the poo taboo.

Take the Plunge event poster
May 02, 2018
DefeatDD has created a lot of content over the years, from in-the-field videos and playful animations to reports and infographics. So in 2018, we
Group posing in front of a toilet stall photo backdrop
Dec 19, 2017
We tested our toilet stall backdrop (aka, our “Go Kit”) at a Diarrhea Innovations Group (DIG) meeting. The poo emoji stick was a fan favorite. Watch
#poohaiku
Oct 01, 2016
  Poo Haiku has a special legacy as DefeatDD’s first social media campaign and is undoubtedly a fan favorite. Whimsical, informative, and an open
#ohtheplaces
Oct 01, 2015
We believe the best social media campaigns are resourceful and creative with content, using it to stimulate discussion beyond the interwebs. After
#cheers
Mar 01, 2014
  Every year on World Water Day (March 22), we celebrate the lifesaving impact of water, a basic need that connects us all, regardless of where we
#mindthegappd
  In April 2013, UNICEF and WHO launched the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD), the first-ever
#toiletday
While this list is by no means exhaustive, these global health observance days enjoy a guaranteed recurring reservation on our annual DefeatDD work

DefeatDD partners

DefeatDD wouldn’t be much of a movement without partners dedicated to our shared mission of an integrated approach to defeat diarrheal disease. Though much of the campaign magic happens on the interwebs, person-to-person interactions are what make these efforts fruitful.

DefeatDD works with other stakeholders and coalitions on community messages, materials, and campaigns during key annual moments like World Water Day (March 22), Global Handwashing Day (October 15), World Pneumonia Day (November 12), and World Toilet Day (November 19), to name a few. We also co-chair the Health/WASH Network with WaterAid and provide support to the Diarrhea Innovations Group (DIG). Reports that we’ve co-authored with partners include Join up, scale up: How integration can defeat disease and poverty and Diarrhoea Dialogues: From Policies to Progress.

DefeatDD and path

DefeatDD aims to raise greater awareness about ongoing efforts to defeat diarrheal disease, both within PATH and beyond.

Team DefeatDD is housed with PATH's Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access (CVIA). Within CVIA, DefeatDD's advocacy activities are paralleled by PATH's technical projects to develop and deliver vaccines against some of the most common and life-threatening causes of childhood diarrhea. But we also recognize that, while they are pivotal tools, vaccines are not the only answer. By integrating vaccines within a comprehensive approach to diarrhea, we can ensure the greatest impact.

PATH's work also extends beyond vaccine development and delivery to defeat diarrhea. For decades, PATH has implemented programs to address the causes of diarrheal diseases and scale up solutions. We invite you to learn more about PATH's technical projects, which aim to:

  • Expand access to clean water
  • Encourage safe sanitation
  • Develop rapid diagnostics
  • Study new drugs, and
  • Promote innovative policies. 

PATH is one of many partners globally and locally working to save lives and strengthen communities by fighting diarrheal disease. Your stories and successes are pivotal to our advocacy, and together all of our voices strengthen the global conversation!

PATH is the leader in global health innovation. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accelerate innovation across five platforms—vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations—that harness our entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity. By mobilizing partners around the world, we take innovation to scale, working alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs. Together, we deliver measurable results that disrupt the cycle of poor health. 

Eileen Quinn
Director of Communications & Advocacy, Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access

meet the team

Lovingly known by our PATH colleagues as the Poo Crew, our cheeky team of taboo-busting communicators specializes in toilet jokes, poo puns, and distinctive digital advocacy. We are fiercely passionate about defeating diarrheal disease – and about sharing the stories of those most affected – but make no mistake: we take laughter very seriously.

CONTACT US

We love hearing from you! Blog ideas, collaboration opportunities, poop jokes: we'll take them all!