A good read: The roots of inaction: Understanding and overcoming the obstacles to greater investment in scaling-up effective diarrhea treatment
The roots of inaction: Understanding and overcoming the obstacles to greater investment in scaling-up effective diarrhea treatment
Posted: August 20, 2012
While this is being covered everywhere , I thought it is worth mentioning. It seems important that in this report WHO is stressing Zink tablets in conjunction the oral rehydration solution (ORS) The tables and charts provide excellent statistic for fundraisers and agencies wanting to bring help and awareness. For those in the field there are important points to note but ones in the field may ask “tell us something we don’t know”
Recognition of the reality that “WASH/WATSAN” address seems to be following the same slow path of Global Warming (and other critical realities) , taking its time to come to be mainstream and get the energy it deserves. Hopefully the material presented within shall be an effective red flag to wave to get recognition and resources.
the publication Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done is available in pdf format for viewing
from the press release:
Past success and present needs
Campaigns targeting childhood diarrhoea in the 1970s and 1980s achieved success by scaling up the use of oral rehydration solution (ORS) to prevent dehydration and by educating caregivers. In spite of the promising results of these campaigns, in recent years the international community has shifted its focus to other global emergencies. There is now an urgent need to focus once more on preventing and treating diarrhoea.
Treatment with ORS and zinc tablets
WHO and UNICEF recommend treating diarrhoea with low-osmolarity ORS and zinc tablets, which decrease the severity and duration of the attack. These treatments are simple, inexpensive and life-saving.
Access to clean water and good hygiene practices are extremely effective in preventing childhood diarrhoea. Hand washing with soap has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease by over 40 per cent, making it one of the most cost-effective interventions for reducing child deaths from this neglected killer.
from the publication:
For a number of years, there was one zinc product that met quality standards for international procurement by UNICEF. Zinc is now procured by UNICEF, governments and
other agencies and is manufactured locally in a handful of countries. However, meeting policy and regulatory requirements for importing a new product continues to present challenges for zinc introduction in many countries. Moreover, changing child health treatment recommendations nationally can also be difficult.
Compounding the problem is the fact that initial start-up funds for these new treatments can be significant, and beyond the scope of regular health budgets. In addition, many countries are hesitant to buy zinc because they have little experience with it as part of diarrhoea management programmes: They are unsure of the demand and are reluctant to devote funds to one-time start-up activities, such as developing training materials. ….
The challenges of scaling up zinc and increasing usage rates of ORS are steep, but not prohibitive. A renewed call to action is needed to ensure that increasing coverage
of diarrhoea treatment interventions becomes an international
pulications Sources: Global Zinc Task Force, 2009; UNICEF Supply Division, 2009.
there is a good new story in Time this past August (’09) Here is an excerpt
Can One Pill Tame the Illness No One Wants to Talk About?
By Vivienne Walt / Sogola Monday, Aug. 17, 2009
It is hard to grasp the impact diarrhea has on people’s lives across Africa and Asia. The disease kills more children than either malaria or AIDS, stunts growth, and forces millions — adults and children alike — to spend weeks at a time off work or school, which hits both a country’s economy and its citizens’ chances of a better future. In countless villages like Sogola, where people have long drawn water from unreliable wells, diarrhea kills so many that there is a general sense of resignation, as if watching children die is simply one of life’s inevitable tragedies. One morning I ask Djene-Sira Diakité how many children she has. “God gave me 10 children, and took five of them back,” she says with a shrug.
But now a quiet revolution is under way. Over the past few years, a handful of aid organizations and governments — including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development — have begun distributing zinc supplements to villagers in Bangladesh, India, Mali and Pakistan. Several other groups are working with governments in Africa to introduce zinc, which comes both in tablet form and as a syrup. In Mali, Save the Children U.S. used $680,000 from a 2007 charity concert of American Idol to distribute zinc tablets to a handful of villages in the south of the country. (Read TIME’s Persons of the Year cover story on Bill and Melinda Gates.)
So far, the small programs have drawn little attention. But their impact has been dramatic. Zinc pills appear to halt diarrhea in its tracks. “Before, we were terrified when children’s stomachs began running, because we knew some of them would die,” says Sata Djialla in the Malian village of Morola. “Now our children are not dying of diarrhea.”
…A second medical breakthrough should also help. At least one-third of all diarrhea deaths among young children are caused by the rotavirus, which infects the cells lining the small intestine and causes gastroenteritis. In June, the WHO approved the first rotavirus vaccine for global use. The vaccine, which in trials in Latin America, Europe and the U.S. cut rotavirus infections by 85%, could someday be part of routine vaccination programs for children, along with those for polio, measles and other diseases whose death rates have plummeted in recent years.
for full story : http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1914655-1,00.html