Infant reaching for camera.

This website aims to provide tools for advocates in spreading the word about the deadly toll of diarrheal disease and the solutions to stop it. The Resources for Diarrheal Disease Control website also provides key documents and links to information on simple, lifesaving interventions that have the potential to significantly impact diarrhea incidence worldwide.

Re-prioritizing diarrheal disease control

Despite impressive gains in the 1980s and 1990s, severe dehydration due to diarrhea still contributes significantly to childhood morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Today, diarrheal disease is responsible for nearly two million deaths annually. It is the second-leading killer of children under five.1

Simple, available tools promise dramatic reductions in diarrhea-related death and hospitalization worldwide. In addition to established interventions that include oral rehydration therapy, breastfeeding, and hygiene, new tools like zinc and diarrhea vaccines bring new opportunities to re-invigorate interest and catalyze investments.

Coordinating efforts for greater impact

Combining efforts and solutions to enhance diarrheal disease control could lead to faster uptake of interventions than promotion of each tool alone and may also be cost-effective.2 Yet surveys have shown that awareness of these interventions among donors, decision-makers, medical advisors, and health workers is low.3

PATH's Enhanced Diarrheal Disease Control Initiative is working with officials and health care workers at the country-level to revitalize planning and explore the needs and opportunities presented by a coordinated approach.

We invite you to browse our site for information and resources on diarrheal disease control interventions, as well as highlights of in-country programs that are putting them in the hands of mothers and caregivers.

References

1 World Health Organization, UNICEF. Joint statement on clinical management of acute diarrhoea. 2004.

2 Baqui AH, Black RE, El Arifeen S, et al. 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;22(4):440-442.

3 Simpson E, Wittet S, Bonilla J, et al. Use of formative research in developing a knowledge translation approach to rotavirus vaccine introduction in developing countries. BMC Public Health. 2007;7(1):281.

Photo: PATH/Mike Wang.