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Disease Outbreak News

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reducing childhood deaths from diarrhoea


Global campaigns to fight diarrhoea - the second deadliest illness for children – must be re-energized to prevent the deaths of millions in the developing world, UNICEF and WHO said today as they released a new report on the disease.

“It is a tragedy that diarrhoea, which is little more than an inconvenience in the developed world, kills an estimated 1. 5 million children each year,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman. "Inexpensive and effective treatments for diarrhoea exist, but in developing countries only 39 per cent of children with diarrhoea receive the recommended treatment.”

The report, Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done, lays out a seven-point plan that includes a treatment package to reduce childhood diarrhoea deaths and a prevention strategy to ensure long-term results. The seven specific points are:
1. Fluid replacement to prevent dehydration;
2. Zinc treatment;
3. Rotavirus and measles vaccinations;
4. Promotion of early and exclusive breastfeeding and vitamin A supplementation;
5. Promotion of hand washing with soap;
6. Improved water supply quantity and quality, including treatment and safe storage of
household water; and
7. Community-wide sanitation promotion.

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, said: "We know where children are dying of diarrhoea. We know what must be done to prevent those deaths. We must work with governments and partners to put this seven-point plan into action."
Source :

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