Over the past few months, the Call to Action on diarrheal disease has received tremendous support from the health, water & sanitation, and environmental sectors—with over 100 organizations signing on! This Call to Action is just the beginning of efforts to raise the visibility of diarrhea and solutions to address it. We invite you to add your voice to urge donors, international health policymakers, national leaders, and the private sector to commit resources and political will to reduce deaths and illness from diarrheal disease.

This year has seen several exciting developments and opportunities for diarrheal disease control. On October 14, 2009, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) released a joint report entitled, Diarrhoea: Why Children Are Still Dying and What Can Be Done. View a press release for more information or download the full report by clicking here.

PATH also launched a report in May of 2009 entitled, Diarrheal Disease: Solutions to Defeat a Global Killer. To download PATH's report, click here.

As the year moves forward, we will continue to keep you updated on action plans and next steps in this initiative, as well as practical ways that we are using the call to action to influence decisionmakers on this issue, and immediate actions you can take to get involved. To join the call:

  • Contact Hope Randall (hrandall@path.org) to add your organization.
  • Share the Call to Action (below) with your audiences by posting it on your website, including it in your newsletter, or leveraging it to further your own advocacy efforts. (Click here for a downloadable version that you can use)

You can also contribute your organization's success stories to be featured on our website, along with a logo to link back to your own site. For more information, contact Hope Randall (hrandall@path.org)

Call to Action

Over the last three decades, the global community has shown that it has the tools to dramatically reduce childhood death and illness from preventable and treatable diseases, such as diarrhea. During that time, for example, millions of children’s lives have been saved by protecting them against diarrheal disease and its consequences through proven and affordable solutions.

Yet diarrheal disease still unnecessarily takes the lives of more than 4,000 children daily, despite the fact that we hold in our hands more cost-effective and proven solutions for preventing and treating diarrhea than any other childhood illness. By increased and effective allocation of resources in a portfolio of improved treatment, nutrition, and water and sanitation interventions, we can help ensure that this common disease is no longer a leading killer of children in low-income countries.

We ask our leaders to consider the burden that diarrheal disease imposes on billions around the world and within their own countries, and to recognize that our investment in deploying solutions must be commensurate with the toll that diarrhea takes. To that end, we call upon donors, international health policymakers, national leaders, and the private sector to:

  • Invest the resources to ensure that funding for diarrheal disease, including both prevention and treatment interventions, is commensurate with the scope of the burden the illness places on families and communities around the world;
  • Redouble our commitment to reducing child mortality by 2015, as stated in the WHO/UNICEF joint statement on the Millennium Development Goals, with a focus on diarrheal disease as a strategy for clear and rapid progress towards that goal;
  • Invest in the research and development of new effective, appropriate and affordable prevention and treatment options for diarrheal disease;
  • Prioritize the implementation of an appropriate combination of diarrhea interventions, including improved water, hygiene and sanitation; optimal infant and young child feeding; increased access to and uptake of vitamin A, ORS and zinc and rotavirus vaccination;
  • Include diarrhea prevention and control in international, regional and country plans on sanitation, water and hygiene. Conversely, include sanitation, water and hygiene interventions in health efforts, and commit to strengthening health systems capacity to address the environmental determinants of diarrheal disease.

Supporting organizations


charity: water

CORE Group

earth day network

Hellen Keller International

International Relief and Development

Management Sciences for Health

Rehydration Project
Water for People United Methodist Committee on Relief
Save the Children

Water Advocates

African Media Aid
Institute for One World Health
PSI Water Partners International Curatio Foundation
Center for Vaccine Development
Millennium Water Alliance
Food for the Hungry International Aid Water Aid
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
Episcopal Relief & Development
Haitian Health Foundation
Project Concern International
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
Mercy Corps

Water Missions International

Academy for Educational Development
Action Against Hunger
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Healthlink Worldwide
United Nations Foundation
International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh
US Coalition for Child Survival
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
World Neighbors
Vestergaard Frandsen

Safe Water Network

Children's Safe Drinking Water Project
Global Health Council
The Global Network for Negleted Tropical Diseases
Global Pediatric Alliance
Wherever the Need
Youth Partnership for Peace and Development
Society for Conservation and Protection of the Environment
Anjuman Samaji Behbood
Association for Humanitarian Development
Bread for the World
EAST Vietnam


Child Health Foundation

NGO Forum


UNICEF United States Fund



Habitat for Humanity Vietnam


Aquatest SWAPHEP
Napo Pharmaceuticals


CAP global

Global Action for Children



Partners in Health


Samaritan's Purse


Water Charity

a child's right GAVI Alliance
Nature Healing Nature



Freshwater Project, Malawi
Waters Edge Ministries


Foundation HELP
Global Water Challenge


There is No Limit Foundation