New Reports on Waterborne Diseases Affecting Children

Yesterday PATH and WaterAid America released two reports on the state of diarrheal disease in the world. The findings are startling; nearly 1.6 million children still die every year from these easily preventable diseases. You can find the full press release here but these are some of the highlights:

“Today, diarrheal disease receives significantly less funding than other diseases, despite accounting for 17 percent of deaths of children under five.”

“The Millennium Development Goal on child survival (MDG 4) will remain beyond our reach until diarrheal disease and the poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water that can lead to it are addressed.”

“There are more lifesaving prevention and treatment solutions for diarrheal disease than any other major childhood killer. These interventions include safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene, breastfeeding and optimal complementary feeding, rotavirus vaccines, zinc treatment, and oral rehydration therapy (ORT)/oral rehydration solution (ORS).”

“The persisting high mortality rate from diarrheal disease in the presence of existing, cost-effective interventions and available resources to implement them represents a continuing scandal,” said Olivier Fontaine, Medical Officer, Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development at the WHO.”

Be sure to check out the 2 reports as well.  The first, Diarrheal Disease: Solutions to Defeat a Global Killer, serves as a great overview of the global health problem and the second, Fatal Neglect, addresses the failings of health systems serving children.

To learn more about what other organizations are doing, look at the Call to Action on Diarrheal Disease.