Doctor and infant in clinic

Unlike other childhood killers for which effective interventions are still years away, the tools are in hand to combat diarrheal disease and the fatal dehydration it can cause. Established interventions such as oral rehydration therapy, breastfeeding, and hygiene, plus new tools including vaccines and zinc treatment, bring new opportunities to re-invigorate diarrheal disease control.

Addressing both prevention and treatment together offers the potential to maximize impact. A coordinated approach that combines interventions may be cost-effective and could lead to faster uptake than promoting each alone. And national planning that considers all available options allows flexibility for designing an approach appropriate for varying needs in different countries.

Photo: Richard Lord.