Treating diarrhoeal disease in children under five: The global picture

Carla Chan Unger, Shumona Sharmin Salam, Md Shafiqul Alam Sarker, Robert Black, Alejandro Cravioto, Shams El Arifeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Rates of childhood mortality due to diarrhoea remain unacceptably high and call for renewed global focus and commitment. Affordable, simple and effective diarrhoeal treatments have already been available for many years, yet a shift in international health priorities has seen coverage of recommended treatments slow to a nearstandstill since 1995. This article reviews coverage of recommended childhood diarrhoeal treatments (lowosmolarity oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc), globally and regionally, and provides an overview of the major barriers to wide-scale coverage. It is argued that to ensure smooth supply and equitable distribution of ORS and zinc, adequate financing, relevant policy changes, strong public, private and non-government organisation (NGO) collaboration, local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, mass media awareness and campaigning, in conjunction with strong government support, are necessary for successful treatment scale-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of disease in childhood
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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