Did you know that diarrhea kills 2,195 children every day more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined? What’s so disheartening about this statistic is the deaths from diarrhea for children under the age of five are easily prevented by increased breastfeeding, the rotavirus vaccine, and improved sanitation and hygiene and access to clean water.
There are, however, innovative interventions that have been created to treat children with diarrheal disease. Diarrhea leads to dehydration and malnutrition. In fact, according to the World Health Organization diarrhea is a leading cause of malnutrition in children under the age of five. With every bout of diarrhea children who go untreated lose essential liquids and salts as well as vital nutrition.
ColaLife, an organization that provides essential medicines and health interventions using the same distribution channels as Coca-Cola, has created an essential diarrheal prevention kit, Kit Yamoyo, that includes zinc tablets and oral rehydration salts. ColaLife believes that if its kit is adopted globally it has the potential to save one million lives by 2015.
As aforementioned the best way to save more children’s lives and prevent diarrhea is through improved sanitation to decrease the parasites in drinking water.
You can read about more low-resource lifesaving interventions for mothers and children at PATH’s Breakthough Interventions page and follow the conversation at #innovations2015.
Photos taken at the Best Buys for Global Health discussion held at the Center for Global Development on March 19, 2014.