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Two New Reports Highlight Stalled Progress Against Diarrheal Disease: Nearly 1.6 Million Children Die Each Year From These Preventable and Treatable Diseases
Date:5/12/2009

Call to Action demonstrates commitment to combating a leading killer of children worldwide

WASHINGTON, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PATH and WaterAid America released two new reports today that show that the international aid community and developing-country governments are not responding to clear evidence on child mortality by targeting resources where the disease burden is greatest. Diarrheal disease, a leading killer of children under age five worldwide, is responsible for the deaths of nearly 1.6 million children annually, yet it receives very little attention from both policymakers and the public. During the 1980s and 1990s, diarrheal disease mortality rates were cut by nearly 50 percent, made possible by wide availability and implementation of lifesaving prevention and treatment interventions.

Today, diarrheal disease receives significantly less funding than other diseases, despite accounting for 17 percent of deaths of children under five. And in some parts of the world, the severity of the disease is increasing. Diarrheal Disease: Solutions to Defeat a Global Killer from PATH and Fatal Neglect: How Health Systems are Failing to Comprehensively Address Child Mortality from WaterAid America highlight the urgent need to refocus attention on diarrheal disease, a prolific global killer. At the same time, a broad and diverse group of more than 75 organizations from many sectors have signed a Call to Action, demonstrating a unified show of support for aggressively meeting the challenge diarrheal disease presents today.

"The global health community knows what is necessary to save the lives of children suffering from diarrheal disease," said Dr. John Wecker, director of the Immunization Solutions and Rotavirus Vaccine Program at PATH. "And now is the time to educate policymakers, donors, and international and national leaders about the need to implement the solutions to prevent and treat
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SOURCE PATH
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