Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Time Cover Story: Diarrhea is Not Sexy Enough

This is a good article on diarrhea that just came out today in Time Europe (cover story), not sure why Time USA is not covering it. While there is a cheap and easy “low tech” solution this article discusses the problems plaguing this issue that is similar to many others – lack of education, attention, potentially misguided priorities & infrastructure:

A Simple Solution –
Diarrhea kills more young children around the world than malaria, AIDS and TB combined. Yet a simple and inexpensive treatment can prevent many of those deaths. The treatment is a simple mixture of salt, sugar and water. So why isn’t more being done to fight diarrhea?”

From the middle of the article:

Diseases that have high profiles and vocal activists — such as aids, tuberculosis and malaria — attract far more interest and money from big donors and governments, based partly on the mistaken belief that they kill the most children. Celebrities don’t host concerts to fight diarrhea. Of 29 child-health specialists at major international development agencies surveyed by the Rotavirus Vaccine Program — a charity based in Seattle, Washington — 40% named aids, tuberculosis and malaria as the three greatest childhood killers. In reality, the top three are pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. “This problem isn’t getting the attention it deserves…”

“Many family members don’t know how to prepare a life-saving remedy that can be assembled for just a few pennies: a large pinch of salt and a fistful of sugar dissolved in a jug of clean water, the simplest recipe for oral rehydration solution. “To save the life of a person with diarrhea is probably the cheapest health intervention you can think of…”

Read the article here.

Causes of Death (under age 5, source WHO)

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Written by thd

October 17, 2006 at 8:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] for global health. Even NextBillion is advocating for rockstars in public health, which I do agree with. Sanjay Gupta is extremely smart and talented and can be a celebrity for public health on a […]


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