This is the
VOA Special English Development Report.
kills one and a half million children each year -- one in five child deaths worldwide.
The only disease that kills more children under age five is pneumonia.
Experts say diarrhea causes
more child deaths than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. New findings show it
also kills more than a million adolescents and elderly people every year.
Dooley is a senior adviser at UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund.
DOOLEY: "In addition to the deaths, there's about two-point-five billion
-- and I want to emphasize, about two-point-five billion cases of diarrhea
among children every year."
But a new report
says sixty percent of those in developing countries do not get the recommended treatment.
The report, appearing in the Lancet medical journal, is from UNICEF and the
World Health Organization. It includes a seven-point plan for countries to use
to prevent and treat diarrhea.
The condition causes fluid loss and reduces
the body's supply of zinc. This mineral is needed for normal growth and
the past five years, UNICEF and the W.H.O. have recommended zinc supplements to
treat diarrhea. They also recommend fluid replacement solutions made from what
are called low-osmolarity oral rehydration salts.
zinc supplements remain largely unavailable in the developing world. And the fluid
replacement solutions can also be difficult to find.
A leading cause of diarrhea in
children is the rotavirus. Public health officials are now advised to include
the rotavirus vaccine in all national immunization programs. But the vaccine is
still not available in many developing countries.
report says new ways to expand the use of treatments are now being developed. Proposals
include, for example, supplying treatment kits through community health workers
or special campaigns.
Experts say children with diarrhea should continue to
eat, and babies should continue to breastfeed.
help prevent diarrhea, the report suggests that children receive both the
rotavirus and measles vaccines. It also calls for improving supplies of clean
water in developing countries.
Another prevention measure is hand
washing with soap.
Diarrhea can be easy to prevent. Campaigns
to fight childhood diarrhea had some success during the nineteen seventies and
eighties. The authors of the report hope this new plan will help return the
issue to worldwide importance.
And that's the VOA Special English
Development Report, written by June Simms, and available at
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Bob Doughty.