Group of children with infant.

Diarrhea remains a leading cause of child deaths in Asia, where rural communities often lack immediate access to clinical care.

PATH's work at the country level recognizes the need for flexibility. Working closely with country leaders, we help develop a unique approach to diarrheal disease control that addresses the needs and opportunities of each setting.

Indonesia

Together with the Ministry of Health in South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, PATH is helping educate health workers about diarrheal disease control interventions, with plans to expand use of new clinical guidelines nationwide.

Vietnam

In Vietnam, PATH is building a coalition to strengthen national policies for diarrheal disease control and update guidelines on clinic- and home-based care. A pilot project in Binh Dinh Province aims to scale up use of zinc and low-osmolarity ORS, while collaborations with the Ministry of Health and others will evaluate the evidence for, and feasibility of, introducing vaccines against rotavirus and other enteric diseases. The experience in Binh Dinh will ultimately impact national planning, and in turn, Vietnam’s efforts may serve as an example to other countries in the Mekong region.

India

PATH’s Safe Water Project is conducting a model project in Andhra Pradesh, India, to enable commercial enterprises to produce, distribute, sell, and maintain household water treatment and storage products for low-income populations. The first steps aim to develop commercial strategies and demonstrate their effectiveness. Ultimately, the project will provide strategies and tools for scale-up, replication, and sustainability for a range of settings and countries.

Rotavirus vaccine clinical trials

PATH also is evaluating the efficacy of rotavirus vaccines among impoverished populations in Asia, conducting clinical trials in Vietnam and Bangladesh in collaboration with manufacturer Merck & Co., Inc. Results will be available in 2009, and the World Health Organization will review the data toward making a universal recommendation on the use of rotavirus vaccines.

Photo: PATH/Molly Mort.