Setting Research Priorities to Reduce Global Mortality from Childhood Diarrhoea by 2015

Published in: PLoS medicine, v. 6, no. 3, Mar. 2009, p. 246-251

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Olivier Fontaine, Margaret Kosek, Shinjini Bhatnagar, Cynthia Boschi-Pinto, Kit Yee Chan, Christopher Duggan, Homero Martinez, Hugo Ribeiro, Nigel C Rollins, Mohammed A Salam, Mathuram Santosham, John D Snyder, Alexander Tsai, Beth Vargas, Igor Rudan

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Childhood diarrhoea still claims nearly 2 million lives each year and remains responsible for 18% of all child deaths. Regardless of this, research interest in this disease has been steadily decreasing after the development of cost-effective interventions in the 1980s. In addition, the amount of available research funds per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) are several orders of magnitude lower for diarrhoea when compared to some other diseases, such as autism or diabetes type 2. The UN's Millennium Development Goal #4 (MDG4) states that childhood mortality should be reduced by two thirds between 1990 and 2015, but recent estimates show that the progress in mortality reduction has not accelerated in comparison to 30 years ago. Therefore this MDG target is likely to be missed. However, the reduction of child deaths by two thirds could be achieved by 2015 if presently available cost-effective interventions were delivered to those who need them most, and if there were sufficient financial resources to ensure their delivery.

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