diarrheal diseases

Diarrheal Diseases and their Global Impact

Diarrheal diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. They are transmitted by contaminated water or food. The main transmission route is the oral-fecal. Poor and young populations (children) are mostly affected by this disease.

Some of the risk factors for diarrheal diseases are poor housing, lack of safe water and sanitation, cohabitation with domestic animals, lack of proper refrigeration and poor personal hygiene.

Diarrheal disease is the second cause of death in children under the age of five leading to 1.5 million children every year. Around 2 billion cases occur yearly. This disease affects mainly children under the age of 2 years old and is considered to cause malnutrition for those under the age of five. What is alarming is that these deaths can be prevented and treated.

According to Dr. Skolnik, mortalities linked to diarrhea have decreased significantly. Death rates changed from 4.6 million in 1980 to 1.8 million deaths today. The factors that helped lowering these rates are the better recognition of this disease, the improved nutrition, the improved care seeking and appropriate use of oral rehydration therapy. So, education and proper care are essential key factors.

It is very essential to keep funding directed into diarrheal diseases despite the clustering of other more devastating ones. Education should be kept maximal and safe food and water supply should become a right to every human being.


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