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Diarrhoea : Why children are still dying and what can be done
Diarrhoea : Why children are still dying and what can be done
Diarrhoea :
Why children are
still dying and what
can be done
© The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)/World Health Organization (WHO),
2009. All rights reserved.
WHO Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
1. Diarrhoea - mortality. 2. Diarrhoea - prevention and control. 3. Diarrhoea - diet
therapy. 4. Rehydration solutions. 5. Child. I. World Health Organization.
ISBN 978-92-806-4462-3 (UNICEF)
ISBN 978-92-4-159841-5 (NLM classification: WS 312) (WHO)
Photo credit: cover © Jean D’Avignon
UNICEF and the World Health Organization welcome requests for permission to
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UNICEF/WHO, Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done, 2009
Contents
Acknowledgements
iv
Foreword
v
Executive summary
1
1
2
3
4
The global burden of childhood diarrhoea
4
Diarrhoeal diseases: The basics
8
Preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea: Where we stand today
18
A 7-point plan for comprehensive diarrhoea control
30
Data used in this report
37
References
41
Statistical annex
44
Acknowledgements
This report was prepared at UNICEF Headquarters
by Emily White Johansson and Tessa Wardlaw in
close collaboration with Nancy Binkin, Clarissa
Brocklehurst, Therese Dooley, Peter Salama and
Mark Young.
Overall guidance, advice and important inputs
were provided by Nicholas Alipui, Fred Arnold,
Al Bartlett, Jamie Bartram, Robert Black, Francisco
Blanco, John Borrazzo, Robert Bos, Neal Brandes,
Jennifer Bryce, Sandy Cairncross, Misun Choi,
Mickey Chopra, Paula Claycomb, Trevor Croft,
Oliver Cumming, Ngagne Diakhate, Olivier
Fontaine, Shanelle Hall, Matthew Hodge,
Eckhard Kleinau, Jimmy Kolker, Chewe Luo,
Nyein Nyein Lwin, Elizabeth Mason, Eric Mintz,
Richard Morgan, Jon Rohde, Werner Schultink,
Peter Van Maanen, Christa Fischer Walker and
Maniza Zaman.
Emerson, Wajdowicz Studios provided overall
art direction, photo editing and design.
Lois Jensen edited the report.
IV
Foreword
The Millennium Development Goals call for a
reduction of child mortality by two thirds between
1990 and 2015. As the deadline approaches, the
reality is that although progress is being made,
much more remains to be done.
Nearly nine million children under five years of
age die each year. Diarrhoea is second only to
pneumonia as the cause of these deaths. Why is
diarrhoea, an easily preventable and treatable
disease, one that in the developed world is considered little more than an inconvenience, causing an
estimated 1.5 million under-five deaths every year?
Reducing these deaths depends largely on delivering life-saving treatment of low-osmolarity oral
rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc tablets to all
children in need. However, progress will also
require focusing on prevention, whether through
the new rotavirus vaccine or by addressing the
factors that lead to children developing the disease
in the first place.
Diarrhoea is more prevalent in the developing world
due, in large part, to the lack of safe drinking water,
sanitation and hygiene, as well as poorer overall
health and nutritional status. According to the latest
available figures, an estimated 2.5 billion people
lack improved sanitation facilities, and nearly one
billion people do not have access to safe drinking
water. These unsanitary environments allow
diarrhoea-causing pathogens to spread more easily.
Improving unsanitary environments alone,
however, will not be enough as long as children
continue to remain susceptible to the disease and
are not effectively treated once it begins. Evidence
has shown that children with poor health and
nutritional status are more vulnerable to serious
infections like acute diarrhoea and suffer multiple
episodes every year. At the same time, acute and
prolonged diarrhoea seriously exacerbates poor
health and malnutrition in children, creating a
deadly cycle.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the international community
committed itself to reducing child mortality from
diarrhoea largely by scaling up the use of oral
rehydration therapy – a low-cost and highly effective
solution – coupled with programmes to educate
caregivers on its appropriate use. The effort met
with great success. Yet today only about 39 per cent
of children with diarrhoea in the developing world
receive oral rehydration therapy and continued
feeding, a figure that has changed little since 2000.
This report sets out a 7-point strategy for comprehensive diarrhoea control that includes a treatment
package to reduce child deaths, and a prevention
package to reduce the number of diarrhoea cases
for years to come. The report looks at treatment
options such as low-osmolarity ORS and zinc
tablets, as well as prevention measures such as the
promotion of breastfeeding, vitamin A supplementation, immunization against rotavirus – a leading
cause of diarrhoea – and proven methods of
improving water, sanitation and hygiene practices.
Diarrhoea’s status as the second leading killer of
children under five is an alarming reminder of the
exceptional vulnerability of children in developing
countries. Saving the lives of millions of children at
risk of death from diarrhoea is possible with a comprehensive strategy that ensures all children in need
receive critical prevention and treatment measures.
Ann M. Veneman
Executive Director
United Nations Children’s Fund
Dr Margaret Chan
Director-General
World Health Organization
V
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Executive summary
Executive summary
D
iarrhoea remains the second leading cause of death among children
under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million
each year – is due to diarrhoea. It kills more young children than AIDS,
malaria and measles combined.
In 2006, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health
Organization (WHO) issued a report highlighting the most common cause
of death among children (Pneumonia: The Forgotten Killer of Children). The
purpose was to raise the profile of that neglected disease. This report is written
with the same intent – to focus attention on the prevention and management
of diarrhoeal diseases as central to improving child survival. Together, pneumonia and diarrhoea are responsible for an estimated 40 per cent of all child
deaths around the world each year.
There are lessons to be learned from past experience. An international commitment to tackle childhood diarrhoea in the 1970s and 1980s resulted in a major
reduction in child deaths. This came about largely through the scaling up of
oral rehydration therapy, coupled with programmes to educate caregivers on
its appropriate use. But these efforts lost momentum as the world turned its
attention to other global emergencies. Today, only 39 per cent of children with
diarrhoea in developing countries receive the recommended treatment, and
limited trend data suggest that there has been little progress since 2000.
This report examines the latest available information on the burden and distribution of childhood diarrhoea. It also analyses how well countries are doing in
making available key interventions proven to reduce its toll. Most importantly, it
lays out a new strategy for diarrhoea control, one that is based on interventions
drawn from different sectors that have demonstrated potential to save children’s
lives. It sets out a 7-point plan that includes a treatment package to reduce
childhood diarrhoea deaths, as well as a prevention package to make a lasting
reduction in the diarrhoea burden in the medium to long term.
1
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
A 7-point plan for
comprehensive diarrhoea control
Treatment package
The treatment package focuses on two main elements,
as outlined in a 2004 joint statement from UNICEF
and WHO:1 1) fluid replacement to prevent dehydration and 2) zinc treatment. Oral rehydration therapy
– which has been heralded as one of the most
important medical advances of the 20th century2 –
is the cornerstone of fluid replacement. New aspects
of this approach include low-osmolarity oral rehydration salts (ORS), which are more effective at
replacing fluids than the original ORS formulation,
and zinc treatment, which decreases diarrhoea
severity and duration. Important additional components of the package are continued feeding, including
breastfeeding, during diarrhoea episodes and the use
of appropriate fluids available in the home if ORS are
not available, along with increased fluids in general.
Prevention package
The prevention package highlights five main elements that require a concerted approach in their
implementation. The package includes: 3) rotavirus
and measles vaccinations, 4) promotion of early and
exclusive breastfeeding and vitamin A supplementation, 5) promotion of handwashing with soap, 6)
improved water supply quantity and quality, including treatment and safe storage of household water,
and 7) community-wide sanitation promotion.
2
New aspects of this approach include vaccinations
for rotavirus, which is estimated to cause about
40 per cent of hospital admissions due to diarrhoea
among children under five worldwide.3 In terms
of community-wide sanitation, new approaches
to increase demand to stop open defecation have
proven more effective than previous strategies. It
has been estimated that 88 per cent of diarrhoeal
deaths worldwide are attributable to unsafe water,
inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.4
Actions needed to take interventions to scale
In many countries, progress has been made in
the delivery or promotion of several of these interventions, particularly vitamin A supplementation
and exclusive breastfeeding. However, a substantial
reduction in the diarrhoea burden will require
greater emphasis on the following actions:
■ Ensure wide availability of low-osmolarity ORS
and zinc, which could have a profound impact on
child deaths from diarrhoea if scaled up immediately. Possible strategies to increase their uptake
and availability could include the development
of smaller ORS packets and flavoured formulas,
as well as delivering zinc and low-osmolarity
ORS together in diarrhoea treatment kits.
■ Include rotavirus vaccine in national immunization programmes worldwide, which was recently
recommended by the World Health Organization.
Accelerating its introduction, particularly in
Executive summary
■
■
■
■
■
Africa and Asia, where the rotavirus burden is
greatest, should be an international priority.
Develop and implement behaviour change
interventions, such as face-to-face counselling,
to encourage exclusive breastfeeding.
Ensure sustained high levels of vitamin A
supplementation, such as by combining its
delivery, where effective, with other high-impact
health and nutrition interventions.
Apply results of existing consumer research on
how to motivate people to wash their hands
with soap to increase this beneficial and
cost-effective health practice. Handwashing
with soap has been shown to reduce the incidence
of diarrhoeal disease by over 40 per cent.5
Adopt household water treatment and safe
storage systems, such as chlorination and
filtration, in both development and emergency
situations to support reductions in the number of
diarrhoea cases.
Implement approaches that increase demand to
stop community-wide open defecation. As with
handwashing, the new approach employs behavioural triggers, such a pride, shame and disgust,
to motivate action, and leads to greater ownership
and sustainability of programmes.
We know what works to immediately reduce deaths
from childhood diarrhoea. We also know what actions
will make a lasting contribution to reducing the toll
of diarrhoeal diseases for years to come. But strengthened efforts on both fronts must begin right away.
The following actions are needed to take the 7-point
plan to scale:
■ Mobilize and allocate resources for diarrhoea
control.
■ Reinstate diarrhoea prevention and treatment as a
cornerstone of community-based primary health care.
■ Ensure that low-osmolarity ORS and zinc are
adopted as policy in all countries.
■ Reach every child with effective interventions.
■ Accelerate the provision of basic water and
sanitation services.
■ Use innovative strategies to increase the adoption
of proven measures against diarrhoea.
■ Change behaviours through community involvement, education and health-promotion activities.
■ Make health systems work to control diarrhoea.
■ Monitor progress at all levels, and make the
results count.
■ Make the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea
everybody’s business.
There is no better time than now. Political momentum is building to address the leading causes of
child deaths, including pneumonia and diarrhoea,
to achieve measurable gains in child survival. The
year 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the AlmaAta Declaration, with reinvigorated calls to focus on
primary health care. Lessening the burden of childhood diarrhoea fits squarely with this emphasis,
and is essential for achieving Millennium Development Goal 4: reduce child mortality, whose target
date is now only six years away.
3
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
1
SECTION
4
The global burden of
childhood diarrhoea
The global burden of
childhood diarrhoea
Each year, an estimated 2.5 billion cases of diarrhoea occur among children
under five years of age, and estimates suggest that overall incidence has
remained relatively stable over the past two decades.6 More than half of these
cases are in Africa and South Asia (Figure 1), where bouts of diarrhoea are more
likely to result in death or other severe outcomes. The incidence of diarrhoeal
diseases varies greatly with the seasons and a child’s age. The youngest children
are most vulnerable: Incidence is highest in the first two years of life and
declines as a child grows older.
Mortality from diarrhoea has declined over the past
two decades from an estimated 5 million deaths
among children under five to 1.5 million deaths in
2004,7 which parallels downward trends in overall
under-five mortality during this period. Despite
these declines, diarrhoea remains the second
most common cause of death among children under
five globally (Figure 2), following closely behind
pneumonia, the leading killer of young children.
Together, pneumonia and diarrhoea account for
an estimated 40 per cent of all child deaths around
FIGURE
1
the world each year. Nearly one in five child deaths
is due to diarrhoea, a loss of about 1.5 million lives
each year. The toll is greater than that caused by
AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
Africa and South Asia are home to more than 80 per
cent of child deaths due to diarrhoea (Figure 3). Just
15 countries account for almost three quarters of all
deaths from diarrhoea among children under five
years of age annually (Figure 4).
Africa and South Asia account for
over half the cases of childhood diarrhoea
Proportional distribution of diarrhoea cases among children under
five years of age, by region, 2004
435 million
East Asia & Pacific
480 million
Rest of the world
ASIA
783 million
South Asia
696 million
Africa
Source: Based on World Health Organization, Global Burden of Disease estimates, 2004
update. The proportional distribution for UNICEF regions was calculated by applying the
WHO cause of death estimates to the most recent estimates for the total number of under-five
deaths (2007).
5
1
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
FIGURE
2
Diarrhoea is the second most common cause of child deaths worldwide
Proportional distribution of cause-specific deaths among children under five years of age, 2004
17
31%
%
Prematurity and
low birthweight
Pneumonia
16
%
37
DIARRHOEA
%
25%
Neonatal infections
(mostly sepsis/
pneumonia)
Neonatal causes
13
23
%
%
Birth asphyxia and
birth trauma
Other
7
9 % Other
7% Congenital anomalies
%
Malaria
4
%
Measles
2
%
AIDS
4
3% Neonatal tetanus
3% DIARRHOEAL DISEASES
%
Injuries
Figure 2 shows that 17 per cent and 16 per cent of deaths among
children under five are due to pneumonia and diarrhoea, respectively. But these figures do not include deaths during the neonatal
period (the first four weeks of life). Diarrhoea causes 3 per cent
of neonatal deaths (or an additional 1 per cent of total under-five
deaths), while 25 per cent of neonatal deaths are due to severe
infections (of which one third are caused by pneumonia, adding
another 3 per cent to under-five deaths). Therefore, pneumonia
and diarrhoea actually cause about 20 per cent and 17 per cent,
respectively, of total under-five deaths when estimates from the
post-neonatal and neonatal periods are combined.
Source: World Health Organization, Global Burden of Disease estimates, 2004 update.
Note: Neonatal causes do not add up to 100 per cent due to rounding. Globally, more than one third of deaths among children under five are attributable to undernutrition.
6
The global burden of
childhood diarrhoea
FIGURE
3
More than 80 per cent of child deaths due to
diarrhoea occur in Africa and South Asia
FIGURE
4
Proportional distribution of deaths due to diarrhoeal diseases
among children under five years of age, by region, 2004
Total number of deaths due to diarrhoea among children under five
years of age, 15 countries with highest number of deaths, 2004
7
%
9
Nearly three quarters of child deaths
due to diarrhoea occur in just 15 countries
TOTAL NUMBER OF
ANNUAL CHILD DEATHS
DUE TO DIARRHOEA
RANK
COUNTRY
1
India
386,600
2
Nigeria
151,700
3
Democratic Republic of the Congo
89,900
4
Afghanistan
82,100
5
Ethiopia
73,700
6
Pakistan
53,300
7
Bangladesh
50,800
8
China
40,000
9
Uganda
29,300
10
Kenya
27,400
%
11
Niger
26,400
Africa
12
Burkina Faso
24,300
13
United Republic of Tanzania
23,900
14
Mali
20,900
15
Angola
19,700
Rest of the world
%
East Asia & Pacific
ASIA
38
%
South Asia
46
Source: World Health Organization, Global Burden of Disease estimates, 2004 update,
with additional analyses to calculate UNICEF regions.
Source: World Health Organization, Global Burden of Disease estimates, 2004 update.
The totals were calculated by applying the WHO cause of death estimates to the most recent
estimates for the total number of under-five deaths (2007).
7
1
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
2
SECTION
8
Diarrhoeal diseases:
The basics
Diarrhoeal diseases:
The basics
Diarrhoea is defined as having loose or watery stools at least three times per
day, or more frequently than normal for an individual. Though most episodes of
childhood diarrhoea are mild, acute cases can lead to significant fluid loss and
dehydration, which may result in death or other severe consequences if fluids
are not replaced at the first sign of diarrhoea.
What causes diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea is a common symptom of gastrointestinal
infections caused by a wide range of pathogens,
including bacteria, viruses and protozoa. However,
just a handful of organisms are responsible for most
acute cases of childhood diarrhoea.8 Rotavirus is the
leading cause of acute diarrhoea, and is responsible
for about 40 per cent of all hospital admissions due
to diarrhoea among children under five worldwide.9
Other major bacterial pathogens include E. coli,
Shigella, Campylobacter and Salmonella, along
with V. cholerae during epidemics (Box 1). Cryptosporidium has been the most frequently isolated
protozoan pathogen among children seen at
health facilities and is frequently found among
BOX
1
HIV-positive patients (Box 2). Though cholera is
often thought of as a major cause of child deaths
due to diarrhoea, most cases occur among adults
and older children.
How are diarrhoea pathogens transmitted?
Most pathogens that cause diarrhoea share a
similar mode of transmission – from the stool
of one person to the mouth of another. This is
known as faecal-oral transmission. There may be
differences, however, in the number of organisms
needed to cause clinical illness, or in the route
the pathogen takes while travelling between
individuals (for example, from the stool to food
or water, which is then ingested).
In humanitarian crises, diarrhoea is a major cause of death
Diarrhoea is a leading cause of death during complex
emergencies and natural disasters. Displacement of
populations into temporary, overcrowded shelters is
often associated with polluted water sources, inadequate
sanitation, poor hygiene practices, contaminated food and
malnutrition – all of which affect the spread and severity
of diarrhoea. At the same time, the lack of adequate health
services and transport reduces the likelihood of prompt and
appropriate treatment of diarrhoea cases.
In 1994, between 500,000 and 800,000 Rwandan refugees
flooded into areas around Goma in what is now the
Democratic Republic of the Congo. An estimated 50,000
deaths occurred in the first month alone, with 85 per cent
of them attributed to diarrhoea. The scarcity of water was
cited as the main cause for the outbreak. Malnutrition is
also common in emergencies and tends to be heightened
when feeding practices are disrupted and sanitation
deteriorates.
Diarrhoea control is a main concern when responding to
complex emergencies, such as the one in Goma. Priority
interventions include providing safe water in adequate
quantities, setting up appropriate sanitation facilities,
establishing health services to rapidly detect and treat
cases, and promoting good hygiene. In recent years,
progress has been made in implementing communitybased interventions when responding to emergencies,
such as promoting exclusive breastfeeding, micronutrient
supplementation, point-of-use water treatment,
handwashing with soap, and treating cases with oral
rehydration salts or appropriate homemade fluids.
Sources: Goma Epidemiology Group, ‘Public Health Impact of the Rwandan
Refugee Crisis: What happened in Goma, Zaire, in July 1994’, The Lancet,
vol. 345, no. 8964, 1995, pp. 339-344.
9
2
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
What are the main forms of
acute childhood diarrhoea?
There are three main forms of acute childhood
diarrhoea, all of which are potentially life-threatening and require different treatment courses:
■ Acute watery diarrhoea includes cholera and is
associated with significant fluid loss and rapid
dehydration in an infected individual. It usually
lasts for several hours or days. The pathogens that
generally cause acute watery diarrhoea include V.
cholerae or E. coli bacteria, as well as rotavirus.
■ Bloody diarrhoea, often referred to as dysentery,
is marked by visible blood in the stools. It is
associated with intestinal damage and nutrient
losses in an infected individual. The most
common cause of bloody diarrhoea is Shigella,
a bacterial agent that is also the most common
cause of severe cases.
■ Persistent diarrhoea is an episode of diarrhoea,
with or without blood, that lasts at least 14 days.
Undernourished children and those with other
illnesses, such as AIDS, are more likely to develop
persistent diarrhoea. Diarrhoea, in turn, tends to
worsen their condition.
BOX
2
Children with poor nutritional status and overall
health, as well as those exposed to poor environmental conditions, are more susceptible to severe
diarrhoea and dehydration than healthy children
(Figure 5). Children are also at greater risk than
adults of life-threatening dehydration since water
constitutes a greater proportion of children’s bodyweight. Young children use more water over the
course of a day given their higher metabolic rates,
and their kidneys are less able to conserve water
compared to older children and adults.
How is diarrhoea prevented?
Reducing childhood diarrhoea requires interventions to make children healthier and less likely to
develop infections that lead to diarrhoea; clean
environments that are less likely to transmit
disease; and the support of communities and
caregivers in consistently reinforcing healthy
behaviours and practices over time.
The links between diarrhoea and HIV
Diarrhoea is a common manifestation of HIV infection
in both adults and children. In adults, it is usually the
consequence of a deteriorating immune system late in the
HIV disease cycle. In children with HIV, it is often the result
of frequently aggressive common childhood infections
caused by pathogens such as Campylobacter, E. coli,
Salmonella, Shigella or rotavirus.10 When diarrhoea
persists for more than two weeks in children, it may be an
indicator of stage 3 HIV infection, according to WHO, and
requires further evaluation and antiretroviral treatment.11
Persistent diarrhoea occurs with increased frequency in
HIV-infected children, and is associated with an 11-fold
increase in mortality compared to uninfected children.12
Causes of persistent diarrhoea in HIV-positive children
10
Why are children more vulnerable?
include HIV-related malabsorption, gut manifestation of
tuberculosis, gut infections and infestations of pathogens
such as Cryptosporidium parvum, Cyclospora cayetanensis,
Isospora belli, Microsporidia and cytomegalovirus.
Management of diarrhoea in children with HIV is the same
as in children without the virus, as outlined in this report.13
Sources: Partners in Health, The PIH Guide to the Community-Based Treatment of HIV in Resource-Poor Settings (Revised Second Edition), Partners in
Health, Boston, 2008; World Health Organization, Antiretroviral Therapy of
HIV Infection in Infants and Children: Towards universal access. Recommendations for a public health approach, WHO, Geneva, 2006; Tindyebwa, D.,
et al., ‘Common Clinical Conditions Associated with HIV’, in: Handbook on
Paediatric AIDS in Africa, 2004; Lule, J.R., et al., ‘Effect of Home-Based Water
Chlorination and Safe Storage on Diarrhea Among Persons with Human
Immunodeficiency Virus in Uganda’, American Journal of Tropical Medicine
and Hygiene, vol. 73, no. 5, 2005, pp. 926-933.
Diarrhoeal diseases:
The basics
Many well-known child survival interventions are
critical to reducing child deaths from diarrhoea.
They work in two ways: by either directly reducing
a child’s exposure to the pathogens that cause
diarrhoea (through the provision of safe drinking
water, for example) or by reducing a child’s
susceptibility to severe diarrhoea and dehydration
(through improved nutrition and overall health).
WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE
Improvements in access to safe water and
adequate sanitation, along with the promotion of
good hygiene practices (particularly handwashing
with soap), can help prevent childhood diarrhoea.
In fact, an estimated 88 per cent of diarrhoeal
deaths worldwide are attributable to unsafe water,
inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.14
Water, sanitation and hygiene programmes typically
include a number of interventions that work to
reduce the number of diarrhoea cases. These
FIGURE
5
2
include: disposing of human excreta in a sanitary
manner, washing hands with soap, increasing
access to safe water, improving water quality at
the source, and treating household water and
storing it safely.
Improvements in sanitation reduce the transmission
of pathogens that cause diarrhoea by preventing
human faecal matter from contaminating environments. Improving sanitation facilities has been
associated with an estimated median reduction in
diarrhoea incidence of 36 per cent across reviewed
studies.15 (A recent survey in the British Medical
Journal showed that their readers believed sanitation to be the most important medical milestone
since 1840.16) However, a major challenge in this
regard is scaling up sanitation facilities to the point
where they are used by an entire community (‘total
sanitation’). Use of such facilities by all community
members is necessary to significantly reduce
diarrhoeal disease transmission (Box 3).17
Nutrition, health and environmental factors all play
a role in preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea
REDUCE RISK FACTORS
Prevent stunting
TREATMENT
■
■
■
Oral rehydration therapy
Zinc
Continued feeding
(including breastfeeding)
Key actions to reduce
the burden of
childhood diarrhoea
Source: Adapted from the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group, 2009.
PREVENTION
Primary prevention (to reduce disease transmission)
■ Rotavirus and measles vaccines
■ Handwashing with soap
■ Improved drinking water supply
■ Community-wide sanitation
Secondary prevention (to reduce disease severity)
■ Promote breastfeeding
■ Vitamin A supplementation
■ Zinc
11
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
BOX
3
Increasing demand to stop
community-wide open defecation
Until recently, national governments and their development partners promoted the use of improved sanitation
facilities primarily by constructing toilets. Today, a
fundamentally new approach has been adopted – one
that relies on the demand of a community to stop open
defecation, which has proven far more effective.
Stimulating collective action to stop open defecation is
now relying on behavioural triggers related to status,
pride, shame and disgust, rather than relying solely
on health-related arguments. Another feature of this
approach is the absence of household subsidies to
prompt latrine construction. Instead, a community’s
desire for change tends to propel them into action and
encourages innovation, mutual support and appropriate local solutions, thus leading to greater ownership
and sustainability. In some instances, a large number
of private entrepreneurs have emerged from nearby villages to match the demand for low-cost latrine parts.18
By generating demand in this way, complete districts,
such as in Bangladesh and Zambia, have become
‘open-defecation-free’. Large international development agencies such as UNICEF and the World Bank
Water and Sanitation Programme are now promoting
similar sanitation approaches in other areas.
Source: Kar, K., ‘Subsidy or Self-Respect? Participatory total community
sanitation in Bangladesh’, IDS Working Paper 184, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK, 2003.
12
Washing one’s hands with soap is another
important barrier to transmission (Box 4), and has
been cited as one of the most cost-effective publichealth interventions.19 A number of studies have
shown that handwashing with soap can reduce
the incidence of diarrhoeal disease by over 40 per
cent.20 Accessible and plentiful water has also been
shown to encourage better hygiene, handwashing
in particular, although the extent to which access
to improved water sources reduces diarrhoea rates
often depends on the type of water source available
(such as public taps or standpipes, protected dug
wells or boreholes).21
Interventions to improve water quality at the source,
along with treatment of household water and
safe storage systems, have been shown to reduce
diarrhoea incidence by as much as 47 per cent.22
Proven and field-tested household water treatment
options that are currently being promoted include
chlorination, filtration, combined flocculation and
disinfection, boiling, and solar disinfection. Household water treatment could potentially be scaled up
quickly and inexpensively in both development and
emergency situations. It has even become common
practice in large cities where homes are connected
to a municipal water supply, since water is often
polluted between the source and the point of use.
Diarrhoeal diseases:
The basics
ADEQUATE NUTRITION
Undernourished children are at higher risk of
suffering more severe, prolonged and often more
frequent episodes of diarrhoea. Repeated bouts of
diarrhoea also place children at a greater risk of
worsening nutritional status due to decreased food
intake and reduced nutrient absorption, combined
with the child’s increased nutritional requirements
during repeated episodes.
Diarrhoea often leads to stunting in children due
to its association with poor nutrient absorption
and appetite loss. The risk of stunting in young
children has been shown to increase significantly
with each episode of diarrhoea,23 and diarrhoea
control, particularly in the first six months of
life, may help to reduce stunting prevalence
among children.24
BREASTFEEDING
Breastmilk contains the nutrients, antioxidants,
hormones and antibodies needed by a child to
survive and develop. Infants who are exclusively
breastfed for the first six months of life and
continue to be breastfed until two years of age and
beyond develop fewer infections and have less
severe illnesses than those who are not, even among
children whose mothers are HIV-positive. This
BOX
4
Handwashing with soap:
A high-impact, cost-effective intervention
Washing one’s hands with soap can reduce rates
of diarrhoeal disease when carried out at critical
moments: after using the toilet, after cleaning a
child’s bottom and before handling food. Research
suggests that handwashing with soap is effective
even in overcrowded and highly contaminated
slums in the developing world.
Studies have also pointed out that washing hands
with water alone is much less effective in preventing
disease than using soap. Soap breaks down grease
and dirt that carry germs and disease-causing pathogens. Using soap also increases the amount of time
spent washing hands, compared to water alone. Yet
lack of soap does not seem to be a major barrier to
handwashing: It has been found that 95 per cent of
mothers in developing countries have some sort of
soap product at home.
To better understand ways to promote hygienic
behaviour, research has been carried out regarding
consumers’ handwashing habits and factors that
motivate change. This research shows that key triggers
for handwashing are feelings of disgust, nurture,
comfort and desire to conform, rather than health
concerns alone. These findings are being used to
create more effective hygiene programmes.
Sources: Adapted from: United Nations Children’s Fund, Global
Handwashing Day (15 October): Planner’s guide, UNICEF, New York,
2008; Curtis, V., and S. Cairncross, ‘Effect of Washing Hands with Soap
on Diarrhoea Risk in the Community: A systematic review’, The Lancet
Infectious Diseases, vol. 3, no. 5, May 2003, pp. 275-281; Ensink, J.,
and V. Curtis, ‘Health Impact of Handwashing with Soap’, <www.lboro.
ac.uk/well/resources/fact-sheets/fact-sheets-htm/Handwashing.htm>,
accessed June 2009; Scott, B., et al., ‘Health in our Hands, but Not in our
Heads: Understanding hygiene motivation in Ghana’, Health Policy and
Planning, vol. 22, no. 4, May 2007, pp. 225-233.
13
2
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
protection has been shown to be higher where
maternal literacy is lower and where sanitation is
worse.25 Infants who are not breastfed have a sixfold
greater risk of dying from infectious diseases in the
first two months of life, including from diarrhoea,
than those who are breastfed.26
IMMUNIZATION
Immunizations help reduce deaths from diarrhoea
in two ways: by helping prevent infections that
cause diarrhoea directly, such as rotavirus, and by
preventing infections that can lead to diarrhoea as
a complication of an illness, such as measles.
MICRONUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTATION
Vitamin A supplementation is a critical preventive measure, and studies have shown mortality
reductions ranging from 19 per cent to 54 per cent
in children receiving supplements.27 This reduction
is associated in large part with declines in deaths
due to diarrhoeal diseases and measles. Vitamin
A supplementation has also been shown to reduce
the duration, severity and complications associated
with diarrhoea.28
Rotavirus is estimated to cause about 40 per cent
of all hospital admissions due to diarrhoea among
children under five years of age worldwide30 –
leading to some 100 million episodes of acute
diarrhoea each year that result in 350,000 to
600,000 child deaths.31 Introduction of rotavirus
vaccine in countries with the greatest diarrhoea
burdens, especially in Asia and Africa, must be
accelerated on a priority basis. Global rotavirus
vaccine introduction has recently been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).32
Adequate zinc intake among children is critical
for normal growth and development. Recent
supplementation trials have shown that adequate
zinc leads to a substantial reduction in childhood
diarrhoea cases.29
14
Measles is an acute viral infection that is often
self-limiting. But some children, particularly those
who are undernourished or have compromised
immune systems, may experience serious side
effects, including diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is one
of the most common causes of death associated
with measles worldwide.
Diarrhoeal diseases:
The basics
How is diarrhoea diagnosed?
Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of
childhood diarrhoea are set out in the Integrated
Management of Childhood Illness handbook.33
Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms, including
the extent of dehydration, the type of diarrhoea
exhibited, whether blood is visible in the stool,
and the duration of the diarrhoea episode. Treatment regimens differ based on the outcomes of this
clinical assessment. Microbiological culture and
microscopy are not necessary to diagnose diarrhoea
and initiate treatment, even in high-income countries, although these tools can help identify specific
pathogens for outbreak investigations.
It is important that caregivers recognize the
symptoms that require immediate attention from
appropriate health personnel, including trained
community health workers. These symptoms
include dehydration, blood in the stool, profuse
and persistent diarrhoea and repeated vomiting.
How is diarrhoea treated?
The latest recommendations for treating childhood
diarrhoea in the developing world are set out in a
BOX
5
UNICEF and WHO joint statement34 issued in 2004.
These interventions are proven, affordable and
relatively straightforward to implement.
Since the 1970s, oral rehydration therapy has been
the cornerstone of treatment programmes to prevent
life-threatening dehydration associated with diarrhoea (Box 5). Fluid replacement should begin at
home and be administered by the caregiver at the
start of the diarrhoea episode. A solution made from
oral rehydration salts (ORS) is the ‘gold standard’
of oral rehydration therapy, and a new formula has
been developed (known as low-osmolarity ORS)
that improves overall outcomes when compared
to the original version (Box 6). UNICEF and WHO
recommend that all children with diarrhoea have
access to this new ORS formula; making it widely
available to children in need will require innovative
delivery strategies.
When ORS are not available, other fluids will also
work to prevent dehydration among children with
diarrhoea, although they are not as effective in
treating children who have become dehydrated.
Such fluids (which many countries have designated
as ‘recommended homemade fluids’) can be
Oral rehydration salts: One of the most important medical advances of the 20th century
A solution of oral rehydration salts (ORS) is a simple,
inexpensive and life-saving remedy that prevents
dehydration among children with diarrhoea. How
does it work?
In a healthy child, the small intestines absorb water and
electrolytes from the digestive tract so that these nutrientrich fluids may be transported to other parts of the body
through the bloodstream. In a sick child, diarrhoeacausing pathogens damage the intestines – causing an
excessive amount of water and electrolytes to be secreted
rather than being absorbed. When the ORS solution
reaches the small intestines, the sodium and glucose in
the mixture are transported together across the lining of
the intestines, and the sodium, which is now in higher
concentrations in the intestines, promotes water absorption back into the body from the gut. The discovery that
sodium and glucose are transported together across
the small intestines through a co-transport mechanism
has been called “potentially the most important medical
advance of the 20th century.”35 The development of
ORS is a direct result of this discovery.
Sources: –, ‘Water with Sugar and Salt’, The Lancet, vol. 312, no. 8084,
1978, pp. 300-301; Rehydration.org, ‘Why is Rehydration so Important and
How it Works to Save Children’s Lives’, <http ://rehydrate.org/rehydration>,
accessed June 2009.
15
2
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
BOX
6
Low-osmolarity ORS: A life-saving remedy just got better
For more than two decades, WHO and UNICEF
recommended a single ORS formula for treating all types
of diarrhoea among all age groups. During this time,
researchers also worked to improve the formula to provide
additional clinical benefits to patients. Particularly
important, in addition to preventing dehydration, was
making ORS more acceptable to caregivers who sought
to reduce their child’s diarrhoea symptoms.
In 2004, WHO and UNICEF began recommending that
countries use and manufacture a new ORS formula
(known as low-osmolarity ORS) to treat all types of
diarrhoea among all age groups. This improved formula
was shown to be as safe and effective as the previous
version, but also had other important clinical benefits.
Stool output and vomiting decreased in children by about
20 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively, when compared
to children using the original ORS formula. Unscheduled
intravenous therapy also declined by 33 per cent among
children with diarrhoea using this new remedy.
Source: World Health Organization, The Treatment of Diarrhoea:
A manual for physicians and other senior health workers, WHO,
Geneva, 2005.
prepared at home using readily available and
low-cost ingredients. Examples of rehydrating
fluids include cereal-based drinks made from a
thin gruel of rice, maize, potato or other readily
available low-cost grain or root crop the family has
at home. Breastmilk is also an excellent drink for
fluid replacement and should continue to be given
to infants with diarrhoea simultaneously with
other oral rehydration solutions.
If ORS or other appropriate fluids are not available,
increased amounts of almost any fluid could also
help to prevent dehydration. Continuing to feed the
child during the diarrhoea episode, while providing
oral rehydration therapy, further supports the
absorption of fluids from the gut into the bloodstream to prevent dehydration. Children receiving
food during the diarrhoea episode are also more
likely to maintain their nutritional status and their
ability to fight infection.
16
A recent and important development in diarrhoea
treatment is the addition of zinc to the regimen.
Box 7 details the added value of zinc in diarrhoea
treatment, and its effectiveness in reducing both the
duration and severity of diarrhoea episodes as well
as reducing stool volume and the need for advanced
medical care. Children receiving zinc often have
greater appetites and are more active during the
diarrhoea episode; its use has also been associated
with increased ORS uptake. The provision of zinc
tablets by health workers may also reduce the demand from caregivers for other less effective drugs,
such as antibiotics and antidiarrhoeal medications,
which should not be routinely administered.
Diarrhoeal diseases:
The basics
BOX
7
Zinc: Critical to diarrhoea treatment, but largely unavailable in developing countries
Zinc is critical for overall health, growth and development.
It also supports proper functioning of the immune system.
Though widely found in protein-rich and other food
sources, zinc deficiency is widespread throughout the
developing world and has been associated with higher
rates of infectious diseases, including diarrhoea, and
deaths from these illnesses. Zinc stores are further
depleted during diarrhoea episodes, and supplementation
as a part of treatment programmes is critical for replenishing the body’s reserves – helping children to recover
from illness and stay healthy afterwards.
Clinical studies have shown that a 10- to 14-day treatment course with zinc effectively reduces the duration
and severity of both persistent and acute diarrhoea.
Zinc has been associated with a 25 per cent reduction
in the duration of acute diarrhoea, as well as a 40
per cent reduction in treatment failure and death in
persistent diarrhoea.
than clinical trial results indicate. Zinc appears to
increase ORS uptake and reduces inappropriate drug use
with antibiotics and antidiarrhoeal medications. Children
receiving zinc tablets appeared to recover more quickly,
had increased strength and appetites, and were less ill
than other children in their communities. In fact, a Malian
mother noted that her son had “gained strength and
energy unlike ever before,” which echoed the sentiments
of many other caregivers.
Sources: World Health Organization, Department of Child and Adolescent
Health and Development (CAH), ‘CAH Progress Report Highlights 2008’,
WHO, Geneva, 2009; Bhandari, N., et al., ‘Effectiveness of Zinc Supplementation plus Oral Rehydration Salts Compared with Oral Rehydration Salts
Alone as a Treatment for Acute Diarrhea in a Primary Care Setting: A cluster
randomized trial’, Pediatrics, vol. 121, no. 5, 2008, pp. e1279-e1285; Winch,
P.J., et al., ‘Cluster-randomized Programme Effectiveness Study of Community
Case Management with Zinc for Childhood Diarrhoea in Southern Mali’, Bulletin of the World Health Organization (in press); World Health Organization,
Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development, ‘CAH Meeting
Report: Consultation to review the results of the large effectiveness studies
examining the addition of zinc to the current case management of diarrhoea
(India, Mali and Pakistan)’, 30-31 January 2008.
The recent introduction of zinc tablets into large-scale
diarrhoea treatment programmes in India, Mali and
Pakistan suggests that it may be even more effective
17
2
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
3
SECTION
18
Preventing and treating
childhood diarrhoea:
Where we stand today
Preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea:
Where we stand today
3
This section provides an update on how well countries and regions are doing in
making available key measures to prevent and treat childhood diarrhoea.
pathogen load than adults’, and many children play
in areas in which stools are found. Safely disposing
of them is therefore critical for reducing the number
of diarrhoea cases.
Prevention
Water, sanitation and hygiene
Improving access to safe drinking water and
adequate sanitation, as well as promoting good
hygiene, are key components in preventing diarrhoea.
Yet a recent WHO/UNICEF report36 indicated that,
in 2006 (the latest year for which data are available), an estimated 2.5 billion people were lacking
improved sanitation facilities. Moreover, nearly 1
in 4 people in developing countries were practising
indiscriminate or open defecation (Figures 6 and 7).
To further compound the problem, children’s faeces
are often unsafely disposed of in many developing
countries.37 Children’s stools tend to carry a higher
FIGURE
6
Between 1990 and 2006, the proportion of the
developing world’s population using an improved
drinking water source rose from 71 per cent to 84
per cent (Figure 8). Still, almost 1 billion people lack
access to improved drinking water sources, and
many households do not treat or safely store their
household water supplies. Rural access to improved
drinking water sources remains low, and many
people using an improved source must still walk
long distances to fetch water, thereby reducing the
Nearly 1 in 4 people in developing countries practises open defecation
Percentage distribution of the population using different types of sanitation facilities, by region, 2006
Improved
10
33
South Asia
8
Unimproved
23
28
18
73
Middle East & North Africa
7
66
East Asia & Pacific
9
20
6
78
Latin America & Caribbean
Open defecation
49
18
31
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sharing improved
9
53
Developing countries
7
2
89
CEE/CIS
7
9
15
9
23
100
Industrialized countries
33
Least developed countries
13
24
62
World
0%
20%
30
8
40%
60%
12
18
80%
100%
Source: World Health Organization/United Nations Children’s Fund, Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: Special focus on sanitation, UNICEF, New York, 2008.
Note: Improved sanitation facilities refer to (1) flush or pour-flush to a piped water system, septic tank or pit latrine (2) ventilated improved pit latrine (3) pit latrine with slab (4) composting toilet.
Unimproved sanitation refers to (1) flush or pour-flush to elsewhere (2) pit latrine without slab or open pit (3) bucket (4) hanging toilet or hanging latrine (5) no facilities or bush or field.
19
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Globally, 1.2 billion people practise open defecation,
83 per cent of whom live in 13 countries
FIGURE
7
Population practising open defecation, by countries with the highest
numbers, 2006
Rest of the world
Indonesia
Ethiopia
Pakistan
China
Nigeria
Brazil
Bangladesh
Sudan
Nepal
Niger
Viet Nam
Mozambique
205 million
66 million
52 million
50 million
37 million
29 million
18 million
18 million
14 million
14 million
11 million
10 million
10 million
Data on handwashing with soap are not available
through major national-level household surveys
due to concerns about the validity of information
provided by responders. However, proxy indicators
such as the availability of soap and other commodities in the household for use in handwashing
will be added to the next round of surveys, including the UNICEF-supported Multiple Indicator
Cluster Surveys.
India
665 million
Adequate nutrition
Source: World Health Organization/United Nations Children’s Fund, Progress on Drinking
Water and Sanitation: Special focus on sanitation, UNICEF, New York, 2008.
FIGURE
8
More than 80 per cent of the developing world’s
population use an improved drinking water source
Trends in the percentage of the population using improved drinking water
sources, by region, 2006
1990
100
86 87
80
88
87
71
92
2006
91 94
72
Undernourished children are more likely to suffer
from diarrhoea and its consequences, which, in
turn, increases their chances of worsening nutritional status. Today, 129 million children under the
age of five in the developing world are underweight
for their age. Together, Africa and South Asia
account for more than 80 per cent of total underweight children (25 per cent and 57 per cent,
respectively) (Figure 9). About 40 per cent of chil-
84
83
71
58
60
amount collected. While coverage is higher in
urban areas, population growth presents a growing
challenge in further increasing improved drinking
water coverage. The lack of improved drinking
water sources also tends to curtail personal hygiene
practices, including handwashing.
FIGURE
9
48
More than 4 out of 5 children who are underweight
for their age live in Africa or South Asia
Percentage of children under five who are underweight (WHO Child Growth
Standards), by region, 2003-2008
40
20
6%
De
ve
co lopi
un ng
tri
es
CE
E/
CI
S
Su
bSa
ha
r
Af an
M
ric
id
a
d
No le E
rth as
Af t &
ric
a
So
ut
h
As
ia
Ea
st
As
i
Pa a &
La
tin cific
& Am
Ca e
rib ric
be a
an
0
Rest of the world
ASIA
Source: World Health Organization/United Nations Children’s Fund, Progress on Drinking
Water and Sanitation: Special focus on sanitation, UNICEF, New York, 2008.
25%
Note: Improved drinking water sources refer to (1) piped water into dwelling, plot or yard (2)
public tap/stand pipe (3) tube well or borehole (4) protected dug well (5) protected spring
(6) rainwater collection. Unimproved drinking water sources refer to (1) unprotected dug
well (2) unprotected spring (3) cart with small tank/drum (4) tanker truck (5) surface water
(river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal, irrigation channel) (6) bottled water (which is only
considered improved when the household uses water from an improved source for cooking
and personal hygiene).
Africa
20
57%
South Asia
12%
East Asia & Pacific
Source: United Nations Children’s Fund, global databases, 2009 (based on WHO Child
Growth Standards).
Preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea:
Where we stand today
dren under five years of age are stunted in Africa,
and nearly half in South Asia.
Breastfeeding
Over the past decade, there has been some progress
in exclusive breastfeeding rates among infants in
the first six months of life across the developing
world, and particularly in Africa. Despite these
advances, overall levels remain low, and only 37
per cent of infants in developing countries are
exclusively breastfed for the first six months of
life (Figure 10).
Micronutrient supplementation
Vitamin A supplementation rates have increased
significantly in recent years. Coverage of children
aged 6-59 months with at least one dose of vitamin
A per year has increased by nearly 50 per cent since
1999. Moreover, between 1999 and 2007, coverage
of children considered fully protected by vitamin
A – that is, receiving two doses per year – increased
nearly fourfold in developing countries (Figure 11).
Progress was made possible through innovative
strategies that included combined delivery with
other high-impact interventions for health and
nutrition. Reaching the poorest children and those
FIGURE
10
Just 37 per cent of infants in developing countries
are breastfed for the first six months of life
Percentage of infants who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months
of life, by region, 2003-2008
41
Latin America & Caribbean
Zinc is important for normal growth and development and for reducing childhood diarrhoea cases.
Yet data on improving children’s zinc status as a key
prevention measure are not available.
Immunization
Only a few, mostly high- and middle-income
countries include rotavirus vaccine in their routine
immunization schedules. WHO recently recommended introduction of the vaccine in all routine
schedules, and data to monitor its coverage in many
countries are expected to follow implementation.
Deaths due to measles have declined rapidly in
recent years. Between 2000 and 2007, global mortality attributed to measles was down by 74 per cent.38
This decrease in deaths is generally credited to increases in routine measles immunization coverage,
coupled with improvements in follow-up campaigns
that provide second opportunities for children to get
immunized. However, more work is needed to reach
the UNICEF and WHO goal of reducing measles
mortality by 90 per cent by 2010.39
FIGURE
11
Percentage of children ages 6-59 months receiving at least one dose and two doses
(fully protected) of vitamin A supplements, developing countries, 1999-2007
Two doses (fully protected)
75
61
50
72
72
62
52
40
27
CEE/CIS
At least one dose
59
60
30
Middle East & North Africa
The proportion of children fully protected by
vitamin A has increased fourfold since 1999
80
32
Africa
living in rural areas, who are most at risk of vitamin
A deficiency, remains the greatest challenge.
100
45
South Asia
36
20
37
Developing countries
16
0
0
20
40
60
70
100
Source: United Nations Children’s Fund, The State of the World’s Children 2010, UNICEF,
New York (forthcoming). Data are insufficient for East Asia & Pacific.
3
1999
2001
2003
2005
2007
Source: United Nations Children’s Fund, global databases, 2009.
21
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Treatment
Since the 1970s, oral rehydration therapy, pioneered
by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease
Research, Bangladesh (Box 8), has been the mainstay of diarrhoea treatment programmes. However,
treatment recommendations have changed over
time to reflect a better understanding of what works
to reduce child deaths from diarrhoea as well as
new insights into treatment feasibility.40
These changes in treatment recommendations have
subsequently led to changes in how treatment
coverage has been monitored (Figure 12) and the
indicators used to measure progress. These various
treatment indicators may show markedly different
coverage and, in some cases, different assessments
of trends over time (Figure 13). There are other
challenges in monitoring treatment coverage, which
are discussed in the section entitled ‘Data used in
this report’ on page 37. Despite these challenges,
the data presented here are useful indications of
how well regions and countries are doing in treating
childhood diarrhoea.
This section assesses coverage of key interventions
to prevent dehydration and worsening nutritional
status among children with diarrhoea. It includes
both the overall recommended treatment package –
oral rehydration therapy and continued feeding – as
well as its individual components (ORS, appropriate
homemade fluids, increased fluids and continued
feeding). Zinc coverage is not assessed since data
are largely unavailable.
Recommended treatment package:*
ORT with continued feeding
In developing countries, only 39 per cent of children
under five with diarrhoea receive the recommended
treatment (ORT with continued feeding) to prevent
dehydration and worsening nutritional status.
Africa has the lowest levels of treatment coverage
(35 per cent), followed by South Asia (37 per cent)
and the Middle East & North Africa (39 per cent).
East Asia and the Pacific (excluding China) have
the highest treatment coverage levels, at 55 per cent
(Figure 14).
Boys and girls receive appropriate care at similar
rates. Children in urban areas (42 per cent) are more
likely to receive the recommended treatment than
those living in rural areas (38 per cent). Similarly,
children from the wealthiest households (40 per
cent) are more likely to receive the recommended
treatment than those from the poorest households
(34 per cent) (Figure 15).
* Zinc is not included since data are largely unavailable.
FIGURE
12
Treatment recommendations and indicators to
monitor coverage have changed over time
TIME PERIOD
RECOMMENDED TREATMENT
2004 to
present
Oral rehydration therapy
with continued feeding
13
Different treatment indicators show different levels
of coverage (using Bangladesh as an example)
ORT (ORS packet or RHF or increased fluids) and continued feeding
[2004 to present]
Increased fluids and continued feeding [early 1990s to early 2000s]
ORS or recommended homemade fluids [late 1980s to early 1990s]
INDICATOR FOR MONITORING
TREATMENT COVERAGE
Proportion of children under five
with diarrhoea receiving oral
rehydration therapy (an ORS
packet or recommended homemade fluids or increased fluids)
and continued feeding
Early 1990s
to early
2000s
Increased fluids and
continued feeding (known
as home management of
diarrhoea)
Proportion of children under
five with diarrhoea receiving
increased fluids and continued
feeding
Late 1980s
to early
1990s
Oral rehydration salts or
recommended homemade
fluids (RHF)
Proportion of children under five
with diarrhoea receiving an ORS
packet or RHF
Note: UNICEF and WHO currently recommend the use of zinc in treating childhood
diarrhoea, but data regarding coverage are limited. Questions on zinc are now included
in some recent Demographic and Health Surveys, and will be included in the next round
of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys.
22
FIGURE
100
80
75
70
60
52
49
81
68
40
20
36
28
38
0
2004
2005
2006
2007
Sources: Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2004, Multiple Indicator Cluster
Survey 2006, and Demographic and Health Survey 2007. Data from these surveys were
re-analysed to conform to the different indicator definitions used over time.
3
Preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea:
Where we stand today
BOX
8
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh: A pioneer in effective diarrhoea control
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research,
Bangladesh is an internationally acclaimed institute that
is considered a leader in diarrhoea research. The Centre
has been saving lives from acute diarrhoea since it opened
a cholera research laboratory in Dhaka in 1960. In 1968,
Bangladeshi researchers, supported by the United States
Agency for International Development, contributed to
the discovery of the ORS solution. Ten years later, WHO
launched a worldwide campaign to reduce diarrhoea
mortality, with ORS as one of the principal elements of
that programme.
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research
treats over 100,000 people for diarrhoeal diseases and
related nutritional and respiratory problems each year.
Without such treatment, many of these people would die.
The Centre’s hospital now saves the vast majority of its
patients; most are children and almost all are undernourished, coming from the lowest strata of society.41
The Centre strongly advocates the use of ORS, and
Bangladesh became the first country to scale up oral
rehydration therapy through a national programme.
Oral rehydration salts are distributed to all corners of
the country and are now a household name; they are
also available for purchase without a prescription. The
hospital promotes the active participation of mothers
FIGURE
14
Too few children with diarrhoea receive
the recommended treatment
37
Children in poor households and rural areas are
less likely to receive the recommended treatment
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving oral
rehydration therapy (ORS packet or recommended homemade fluids
or increased fluids) and continued feeding, developing countries,
by background characteristics, 2005-2008
40
38
Urban
Rural
38
35
Africa
39
Developing countries
0
20
40
60
70
Source: United Nations Children’s Fund, The State of the World’s Children 2010,
UNICEF, New York (forthcoming). Data are insufficient for Latin America & Caribbean
and CEE/CIS.
* Excludes China
Source: Special contribution from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal
Disease Research, Bangladesh, 2009; United Nations Children’s Fund,
Habits for a Lifetime, UNICEF, Dhaka, 2008.
Boys
Girls
39
South Asia
At the same time, the Centre emphasizes prevention,
which is at the heart of any long-term response. The
Government of Bangladesh has focused on community-led
approaches and works through a wide network of hygiene
promoters to support behaviour change for improved
hygiene, safe sanitation and water. These programmes
are expected to reach more than 30 million people in
Bangladesh, who will receive assistance in the installation
of drinking water and sanitation facilities and hygiene
education. This is one of the largest intensive sanitation,
hygiene and water programmes implemented in a
developing country.
15
55
Middle East & North Africa
The Centre was also involved in early studies that
showed that zinc supplements, used in conjunction with
ORS, protect the intestinal lining and significantly reduce
the duration of diarrhoeal episodes as well as the risk of
recurrence. Recently, the Centre has worked to scale up a
programme to provide zinc tablets to every child in need.
FIGURE
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving oral rehydration
therapy (ORS packet or recommended homemade fluids or increased fluids)
and continued feeding, by region, 2005-2008
East Asia & Pacific*
in the diarrhoea treatment process, particularly in
the administration of ORS, and gives women and
families the training and confidence they need to
treat diarrhoea themselves.
100
Richest
Fourth
Middle
Second
Poorest
34
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
37
37
42
40
40
40
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009.
23
45
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Trend analysis is limited by the lack of comparable
data for the treatment recommendations from
the 1990s (see section entitled ‘Data used in this
report’). However, limited data for a subset of developing countries with comparable trend data since
around 2000 suggest little progress in expanding
coverage with the recommended treatment.
In Africa, where nearly half of child deaths
due to diarrhoea occur, these limited data also
suggest little or no progress since 2000 in expanding treatment coverage for diarrhoea and other
major childhood illnesses, including malaria and
pneumonia (Figure 16). The lack of progress in the
case management of these diseases underscores the
urgent need to strengthen integrated, communitybased treatment of major childhood illnesses. This
will require training for caregivers and community
health workers who are linked to a functioning and
responsive health-care system.
ORS packets, including low-osmolarity ORS
Only one third (33 per cent) of children with diarrhoea in developing countries receive ORS to treat
their illness. This is true in almost every developing
FIGURE
16
Little progress has been made in the treatment
of major childhood illnesses in Africa
region of the world. Africa has the lowest levels
of ORS use, at 29 per cent, and East Asia and the
Pacific (excluding China) has the highest levels,
although still reaching only 38 per cent of children
in need (Figure 17).
Boys and girls are equally likely to receive ORS to
treat diarrhoea. Children in urban areas (39 per
cent) are more likely to receive ORS than those
living in rural areas (31 per cent). Similarly, children
from the wealthiest families are 1.5 times as likely
to receive ORS to treat their diarrhoea as the poorest
children (Figure 18).
There has also been little or no progress in increasing the use of ORS among children with diarrhoea
since 2000. This is true for every region with data,
including Africa and South Asia, the regions with
the greatest diarrhoea burdens (Figure 19).
The new ORS formula (known as low-osmolarity
ORS) is the ‘gold standard’ for treating childhood
diarrhoea, as well as treating dehydration once it
occurs. However, data on the use of low-osmolarity
ORS specifically are not available through household surveys.
FIGURE
17
Too few children receive ORS
to treat their diarrhoea
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving at
least one ORS packet during the illness, by region, 2005-2008
50
38
East Asia & Pacific*
40
39
30
32
20
41
38
33
South Asia
33
Middle East & North Africa
32
29
Africa
Malaria (antimalarial treatment)
Pneumonia (care-seeking behaviour)
10
Diarrhoea (ORT with continued feeding)
33
Developing countries
0
2000
2007
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009. Trend analysis is based on data for a
subset of African countries with two or more comparable data points for periods around 2000
and 2007. This subset of countries covers 75 per cent (pneumonia), 50 per cent (diarrhoea)
and 57 per cent (malaria) of children under age five in Africa.
24
0
20
40
60
80
100
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009. Data are based on the latest available
data during the period 2005-2008. Data are insufficient for Latin America & Caribbean
and CEE/CIS.
* Excludes China
Preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea:
Where we stand today
MAP
1
Which countries have a national policy on the use of low-osmolarity ORS to treat childhood diarrhoea?
Countries with a national policy promoting the use of low-osmolarity ORS for treating childhood diarrhoea (as of May 2009)
Source: Fischer Walker, C.L., Personal communication, 2009.
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or
acceptance by the United Nations. Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir
agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.
Poor children and those living in rural areas
are less likely to use ORS to treat diarrhoea
FIGURE
18
FIGURE
19
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving at least one
ORS packet during the illness, developing countries, by background
characteristics, 2005-2008
Boys
Girls
32
Urban
Rural
28
0
5
10
15
20
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009.
25
30
30
Trends in the percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving
at least one ORS packet during the illness, by region, 2000 and 2007
100
34
33
2000
2007
80
39
31
Richest
Fourth
Middle
Second
Poorest
There has been little or no progress
in the use of ORS to treat diarrhoea
60
42
36
40
25
30
28
34
32
28
34 37
28
33
20
0
Africa
35
40
45
South
Asia
Middle East &
North Africa
East Asia &
Pacific*
Developing
countries
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009. Trend analysis is based on data for a
subset of developing countries with two or more comparable data points for around 2000
and 2007. Data are insufficient for Latin America & Caribbean and CEE/CIS.
* Excludes China
25
3
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Low-osmolarity ORS
Though UNICEF and the WHO now recommend the
use of low-osmolarity ORS for treating childhood
diarrhoea, only 66 countries around the world
currently have explicit national policies to that
effect (Map 1). Indeed, an important first step
to increasing coverage of this intervention is to
ensure that national guidelines are established
that promote their use. But this is just a first step.
Policies will need to be coupled with strengthened
distribution systems and new delivery strategies
to make a real difference in the availability of the
new formula to children with diarrhoea. Communication strategies are also needed to ensure that
families understand and accept ORS as a key
treatment component.
There have been major increases in the procurement
of ORS, which may lead to higher coverage levels
in coming years. Though information from private
manufacturers is not readily available, UNICEF
alone has procured more than 350 million ORS
packets since 2000 (Figure 20). Procurement of
low-osmolarity ORS started in 2003, and over 80
countries have received the new formulation. In
FIGURE
20
UNICEF has procured more than
350 million ORS packets since 2000
2008, UNICEF purchased more than 50 million
packets, and remains one of the largest international procurers. There is an urgent need to ensure
that all manufacturers produce low-osmolarity ORS,
since the pace of progress in changing over to the
new formula has been slow.
Appropriate homemade fluids
If ORS are not available to treat diarrhoea, a set of
appropriate homemade fluids are also effective in
preventing dehydration. Data collected through
household surveys to monitor this indicator
are problematic, however, and are therefore not
assessed in this section.
Different countries have different policies on what
constitutes an appropriate homemade fluid, and
these policies are not always clearly defined or
readily available to survey implementers. The
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys and Demographic
and Health Surveys include questions on whether
a child with diarrhoea received a governmentrecommended home fluid. The question should be
customized for individual countries, prior to starting survey work, and reflect national guidelines.
FIGURE
Less than one quarter of children with
21 diarrhoea drink more fluids of any type
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving more to drink than
usual during the illness, by region, 2005-2008
Number (in millions ) of ORS packets procured by UNICEF, 2000-2008
80
30
East Asia & Pacific*
60.3
Africa
25
Middle East & North Africa
25
60
43.2
40
23.8
28.1
20
42.8
53.7
42.6
16
South Asia
32.2
28.6
22
Developing countries
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
0
Source: UNICEF Supply Division, 2009.
Note: Low-osmolarity ORS was proposed by UNICEF and WHO in 2003 and procurement
of this new formula began at this time. Data exclude local procurement by India and
Bangladesh, which is significant (up to 10 million packets per year).
26
20
40
60
80
100
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009. Data are based on the latest available
data during the period 2005-2008. Data are insufficient for Latin America & Caribbean and
CEE/CIS.
* Excludes China
Preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea:
Where we stand today
However, this is not always done and, in many
countries, interviewers ask the generic question
about the use of a government-recommended home
fluid, which then leaves respondents to define for
themselves whether the fluid was, in fact, a recommended one. This could lead to major data quality
issues. Strengthened efforts are now under way to
customize these survey questions in the future.
Increased fluids
When ORS and appropriate fluids are not available,
increasing the intake of almost any fluids could also
help to prevent dehydration caused by diarrhoea. Yet
less than one quarter (22 per cent) of children with
diarrhoea in developing countries drink more fluids
of any type during their illness (Figure 21). These
low levels underscore the urgent need to educate
caregivers regarding current treatment recommendations, including the need to provide increased
amounts of fluids to children with diarrhoea.
Every region with data has seen slight declines
since 2000 in the proportion of children who receive
more to drink during episodes of diarrhoea (Figure
22). Again, lack of progress on an intervention that
FIGURE
22
Every region with data has seen declines in the share
of children with diarrhoea who are drinking more fluids
Trends in the percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving
more to drink than usual during the illness, by region, 2000 and 2007
is readily available to all caregivers highlights the
urgent need to expand education and behaviour
change programmes to encourage appropriate
home management of diarrhoea.
Continued feeding
Nearly one third of children with diarrhoea in
developing countries receive either much less food
or none at all during their illness – placing far too
many children at risk of worsening nutritional
status (Figure 23). Limited data are available to
assess trends over time for continued feeding due to
changes in survey questions around the year 2000
(see section entitled ‘Data used in this report’).
Zinc
Limited information from household surveys is
currently available on the use of zinc to treat
childhood diarrhoea. Questions on the use of
zinc supplements have recently been included in
some Demographic and Health Surveys and will
be incorporated into the next round of UNICEFsupported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys,
which are scheduled for 2009-2010.
FIGURE
Nearly one third of children with diarrhoea
23 receive much less food than usual or none at all
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving either much less
food than usual or none at all during the illness, by region, 2005-2008
2000
2007
36
Africa
80
29
South Asia
60
35
40
20
39
Middle East & North Africa
100
20 17
41
26
31
29
20
East Asia & Pacific*
23
31
Developing countries
0
South
Asia
Africa
East Asia &
Pacific*
Developing
countries
0
20
40
60
80
100
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009. Trend analysis is based on data for a
subset of developing countries with two or more comparable data points for around 2000
and 2007. Data are insufficient for Latin America & Caribbean, CEE/CIS and Middle East &
North Africa.
Source: UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, 2009. Data are based on the latest available
data during the period 2005-2008. Data are insufficient for Latin America & Caribbean and
CEE/CIS.
* Excludes China
* Excludes China
27
3
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
MAP
2
Which countries have a national policy on the use of zinc for treating childhood diarrhoea?
Countries with a national policy on the use of zinc for treating childhood diarrhoea (as of May 2009)
Source: Fischer Walker, C.L., Personal communication, 2009.
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or
acceptance by the United Nations. Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir
agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.
An important first step to increasing zinc coverage
is ensuring that national guidelines are established
that promote its use. Yet only 46 countries worldwide currently have explicit national policies that
promote the use of zinc in treating childhood diarrhoea (Map 2). Beyond changing policies, countries
must overcome implementation challenges to scale
up the use of this life-saving treatment, and develop
effective communication strategies to promote the
use of zinc (Box 9).
At the same time, UNICEF and partners are working
closely with manufacturers to increase future
28
availability of zinc tablets. UNICEF is the largest
buyer of such tablets, representing over 80 per cent
of international procurement.42 UNICEF procurement
of zinc tablets started in 2006 and has increased
significantly since that time (Figure 24). In 2006,
UNICEF procured 20.5 million zinc tablets; the figure
rose to 73.7 million in 2007 and 157.9 million tablets
in 2008. In 2008, zinc tablets were distributed by
UNICEF to 38 countries – a significant increase from
the 11 countries to which zinc was distributed in
2006. Despite this major progress, global zinc
availability is still dismally low compared to the
global need.
Preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea:
Where we stand today
BOX
9
A renewed call to action: Making zinc and low-osmolarity ORS an international priority
Five years after UNICEF and WHO issued a joint statement
recommending a new ORS formula and zinc treatment for
diarrhoea, these products are largely unavailable in most
developing countries. Why?
For a number of years, there was one zinc product that
met quality standards for international procurement by
UNICEF. Zinc is now procured by UNICEF, governments and
other agencies and is manufactured locally in a handful of countries. However, meeting policy and regulatory
requirements for importing a new product continues to
present challenges for zinc introduction in many countries.
Moreover, changing child health treatment recommendations nationally can also be difficult.
Compounding the problem is the fact that initial start-up
funds for these new treatments can be significant, and
beyond the scope of regular health budgets. In addition,
many countries are hesitant to buy zinc because they have
little experience with it as part of diarrhoea management
programmes: They are unsure of the demand and are
reluctant to devote funds to one-time start-up activities,
such as developing training materials.
A few countries have recently taken steps to make zinc and
low-osmolarity ORS more widely available. In Nepal, for
example, government approval and acceptance of the zinc
FIGURE
policy, approval and registration of local zinc products,
and inclusion of zinc on the essential drug list have all
helped to establish an environment conducive to a zinc
programme. In addition, Nepal’s Ministry of Health has
collaborated with partners to train both public and private
sector health personnel in key districts, coordinate the development of promotional materials, and encourage local
manufacturing of quality zinc products at an affordable price.
In Benin, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF are working
closely to introduce a diarrhoea treatment kit – containing both ORS and zinc tablets – through the public health
system in areas with the highest diarrhoea prevalence
rates. And in Madagascar, the Ministry of Health is working closely with the United States Agency for International
Development and UNICEF to pilot zinc-related diarrhoea
management training in several districts at both the
community and health-facility level, with a view to reaching at least half the country’s 110 districts by end-2009.
The challenges of scaling up zinc and increasing usage
rates of ORS are steep, but not prohibitive. A renewed
call to action is needed to ensure that increasing coverage
of diarrhoea treatment interventions becomes an international priority.
Sources: Global Zinc Task Force, 2009; UNICEF Supply Division, 2009.
UNICEF procurement of zinc tablets
increased significantly since 2006,
24 has
but still falls far short of global need
Number (in millions) of zinc tablets procured by UNICEF, 2006-2008
160
157.9
140
120
100
80
73.7
60
40
20
20.5
0
2006
2007
2008
Source: UNICEF Supply Division, 2009.
29
3
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
4
SECTION
30
A 7-point plan for
comprehensive
diarrhoea control
A 7-point plan for
comprehensive diarrhoea control
We know what needs to be done to reduce the burden of childhood diarrhoea.
A package of proven prevention and treatment measures are now available that,
if taken to scale, would have a profound impact on reducing child deaths and
would lead to a significant reduction in the diarrhoea burden in the medium
to long term.
Treatment package
Prevention package
The treatment package focuses on two main
elements, as laid out in the UNICEF and WHO
2004 joint statement:43
1. Fluid replacement to prevent dehydration
2. Zinc treatment.
The prevention package focuses on five main
elements to reduce diarrhoea in the medium to
long term:
3. Rotavirus and measles vaccinations
4. Promotion of early and exclusive breastfeeding
and vitamin A supplementation
5. Promotion of handwashing with soap
6. Improved water supply quantity and quality,
including treatment and safe storage of
household water
7. Community-wide sanitation promotion.
Oral rehydration therapy is the cornerstone of
fluid replacement. New elements of this approach
include low-osmolarity ORS, which are more
effective at replacing fluids than the previous ORS
formulation, and zinc treatment, which decreases
diarrhoea severity and duration. Important additional components of the package are continued
feeding, including breastfeeding, during the diarrhoea episode and use of appropriate fluids available in the home if ORS are not available.
New aspects of this approach include rotavirus
vaccination, which was recently recommended for
global introduction (Box 10). In terms of community-wide sanitation, new approaches to increase
demand to stop open defecation have proven more
effective than previous strategies.
31
4
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
It is important that implementation of the prevention package is approached in a concerted way,
since single interventions alone are likely to result
in lesser overall impact. For example, diarrhoea
caused by rotavirus cannot be prevented solely
by improvements in water and sanitation. And
rotavirus vaccine does not prevent other pathogens
(such as E. coli and Shigella) from causing diarrhoea. The package should be accompanied
by clear, targeted and integrated behaviour and
social change communication strategies to
improve uptake by families and communities.
■
Action needed now to reduce child deaths
from diarrhoea
■
Mobilize and allocate resources for diarrhoea
control. Diarrhoea remains a leading killer of
children, though the tools needed to address it
are available and affordable. New resources for
child survival must include funding for diarrhoea
prevention and treatment. And global initiatives
must keep the management of diarrhoea high on
the list of priorities for public health resource
BOX
10
Rotavirus vaccination: Urgently needed worldwide
Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhoea and
dehydration in children under five in both developing and
industrialized countries. Accelerating the introduction of
rotavirus vaccine in national immunization programmes is
urgently needed, particularly in Asia and Africa, where the
rotavirus burden is greatest.
The first rotavirus vaccine was licensed in the United
States in 1998 and was shown to be 80 per cent or more
effective in preventing severe rotavirus disease in vaccinated infants. However, the vaccine was soon withdrawn
from the market, since it was associated with an increased
risk for intussusception (an intestinal blockage formed
when part of the intestine folds onto itself). In 2006, two
new rotavirus vaccines were licensed after studies showed
them to be safe and efficacious in a number of middle- and
high-income countries. And in April 2009, WHO recommended the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine in all
national immunization programmes, based on preliminary
results from safety and efficacy studies in African countries.
32
■
allocation, including rotavirus vaccination,
which has now been recommended for global
introduction. At the same time, national and
district health planners should include diarrhoea
control in programmes targeting childhood
malaria, pneumonia and HIV, and ensure support
to accelerate coverage of proven interventions.
Reinstate diarrhoea prevention and treatment
as a cornerstone of community-based primary
health care. To effectively control diarrhoea,
treatment and prevention measures should be
integrated into the training of health workers
and reflected in supply chains and programme
monitoring. Expanding the reach of health
services into communities to deliver integrated
interventions is critical. These include communitybased promotion of breastfeeding, hygiene and
sanitation and the provision of low-osmolarity
ORS and zinc to children with diarrhoea.
Ensure that low-osmolarity ORS and zinc are
adopted as policy in all countries. Clear policy
guidance is needed to ensure that the latest
recommendations for treating childhood
Accelerating the introduction of rotavirus vaccine globally
will not only prevent severe diarrhoea and dehydration
among children, but will also help to strengthen other
aspects of diarrhoea control. Parents and communities will
need to understand that this new vaccine will only prevent
a portion of all diarrhoea cases, and education about
the vaccine should include promotion of other preventive
strategies as well as advice for home treatment and when
to seek care. Surveillance to monitor the impact of the
vaccine on diarrhoea cases can also be used to guide other
aspects of prevention and control.
Sources: Parashar, et al., ‘Global Illness and Death Caused by Rotavirus
Disease in Children’, Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 9, no. 5, 2003, pp.
565-572; Murphy, T.V., et al., ‘Intussusception Among Infants Given Oral
Rotavirus Vaccine’, New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 344, 2001, pp.
564-572; Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization, Meeting minutes, April 2009, <http ://www.who.int/immunization/sage/en/>,
accessed June 2009.
A 7-point plan for
comprehensive diarrhoea control
■
■
diarrhoea are adopted and promoted, using effective delivery strategies. One way of facilitating
the delivery of low-osmolarity ORS and zinc is by
combining these life-saving remedies in a single
treatment kit.
Reach every child with effective interventions.
This will require a flexible approach that takes
into account the special circumstances of each
country; often it will require a mix of public and
private sector responses. Community-based approaches are needed to ensure high coverage of
health, nutrition and water and sanitation interventions, rather than relying solely on the public
sector for these services. Emergency and conflict
situations may require immediate intervention by
governments and international aid organizations,
especially to prevent cholera outbreaks.
Accelerate the provision of basic water and
sanitation services. This can best be accomplished through partnerships between the health
sector and other agencies responsible for water
and sanitation, and the use of community-based
approaches. Eliminating open defecation must be
■
■
a priority, along with promoting the construction
of basic sanitation facilities by households and
providing safe water facilities close to people’s
homes that can be operated and maintained by
the community.
Use innovative strategies to increase the
adoption of proven measures against diarrhoea.
All available options should be exploited to reach
every household with a package of high-impact
interventions against diarrhoea (Box 11), including the testing of new approaches to achieve
high and equitable coverage. This could include,
for example, the development of flavoured ORS
formulas or systems for treating and safely storing
household water. Other types of innovations
include alternative delivery strategies, such as
Child Health Days, to reach a high proportion of
the target group. Consumer research to improve
packaging, marketing and product positioning
will be essential for greater acceptance of ORS,
soap and household water treatment.
Change behaviours through community involvement, education and health-promotion activities.
33
4
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
■
■
■
Clear and targeted health promotion and behaviour
change communication programmes must accompany the delivery of interventions to ensure that
caregivers understand the simple actions they can
take at home to prevent and manage diarrhoea.
Engaging communities and caregivers early
on – at the outset of programme planning – to
strengthen their knowledge and practice of these
essential measures is critical to their success and
sustainability.
Make health systems work to control diarrhoea.
National governments and their partners can
transform general activities to strengthen health
systems into specific agreements needed to reach
every child with effective measures to control
diarrhoea. These include meeting the need for
human resources, reducing staff turnover, improving training programmes and seeking creative
ways to motivate community health workers.
Monitor progress at all levels, and make the
results count. As national programmes accelerate
their diarrhoea control activities, it will become
increasingly important for countries to collect,
analyse and report quality data in a timely manner
to monitor programmes and increase accountability
and performance.
Make the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea
everybody’s business.
34
– Families and communities can ensure that
breastfeeding, handwashing, sanitation and
the treatment of household water receive the
priority they deserve. They must also be supported in working with government to access
safe water supplies and to operate and maintain water supply systems once they are built.
Everyone from adolescents and schoolteachers
to religious leaders and local business people
can get involved.
– The public sector can advance comprehensive
prevention and treatment programmes at both
the national and local levels, not only through
the ministry of health but also through agencies
involved in education, commerce, water and
sanitation, nutrition, women’s affairs and urban
and rural development.
– The private sector can promote innovation in
the supply and delivery of key interventions,
in partnership with public institutions.
– Government leaders can expand public awareness of the problem and its solutions, thereby
increasing demand for services to reduce deaths
from diarrhoea.
– Global partnerships and networks can forge
new links across initiatives, leading to strong
and effective advocacy and reducing the risk
of competing activities.
A 7-point plan for
comprehensive diarrhoea control
BOX
11
Innovation in delivery strategies
New and creative delivery strategies are needed to
improve the uptake and effectiveness of key diarrhoeal
disease control interventions. Some possible solutions
being developed:
PRODUCTS NEED TO BE MADE
MORE ATTRACTIVE TO USERS.
Flavoured ORS would increase acceptability among
children who may refuse treatment due to poor taste.
Such flavouring has not been recommended previously due to concerns of overconsumption leading to
potentially harmful side effects. However, the new ORS
formula largely eliminates this risk. A challenge remains
to establish which flavouring agents provide acceptable
taste and are safe. Another case in point: More than 95
per cent of mothers in the developing world with children
under five have some sort of soap product in their homes,
yet use of soap for handwashing does not approach that
percentage.44 Communication strategies are needed on
an ongoing basis to encourage the use of soap to prevent
diarrhoea transmission.
PRODUCTS NEED TO BE PACKAGED
FOR MORE EFFECTIVE USE.
Since 1978, ORS packets have been available to most
countries in only one size (a one-litre packet). Consequently,
caregivers often adapt preparation instructions to avoid
discarding leftover salts, since the one-litre packet may
be more than needed. This tends to result in solutions of
unknown concentrations that could be either ineffective or
potentially dangerous. Smaller packet sizes are needed so
that caregivers can more effectively treat their children’s
diarrhoea at home.
PRODUCTS NEED TO BE DELIVERED
IN INNOVATIVE WAYS THAT MAXIMIZE ACCESS.
ORS packets and zinc could reach more children in need
if packaged together in diarrhoea treatment kits, which
could be delivered by community health workers, or
directly to households through campaigns or Child Health
Days. Pregnant women could also receive such kits during
antenatal care visits. In terms of promoting sanitation
and hygiene, schools are an important training ground;
schoolchildren, in turn, often influence such practices at
home. Household water treatment has also become more
mainstream in recent years, allowing more households
to increase their access to safe drinking water. Finally,
market-based solutions are often the most effective way
to deliver key diarrhoea control commodities, such as
soap, latrines or home water treatment products.
Sources: Touchette, P.E, J. Elder, M. Nagiel, ‘How Much Oral Rehydration
Solution is Actually Administered During Home-based Therapy?’, Journal
of Tropical Medicine Hygiene, vol. 93, no. 1, Feb 1990, pp. 28-34; Curtis, V.,
L. Danquah, R. Aunger, ‘Habitual, Motivated and Planned Handwashing:
A review of formative research from 11 countries’, Health Education
Research, 2009.
35
4
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
36
Data used in this report
Data used in this report
The data used in this report were derived from a
range of sources, which are summarized below.
Childhood diarrhoea burden
Estimates of the global and regional number of
diarrhoea cases and deaths are based on the Global
Burden Disease project, and are for the year 2004
(the latest year estimates are available). The project
provides a comprehensive assessment of mortality
and loss of health due to diseases, injuries and risks
for all regions of the world. When reviewing these
estimates, it is important to note that the distribution of under-five deaths by cause refers to the
primary cause of death. The estimated percentage
distribution of cause-specific mortality for the year
2004 was applied in this report to the 2008 envelope
of total under-five deaths worldwide (8.8 million in
2008) to arrive at the number of under-five deaths
due to diarrhoea globally.
Prevention and treatment coverage
Data on prevention and treatment interventions
were derived largely from national-level household
surveys, notably the Multiple Indicator Cluster
Surveys (MICS), supported by UNICEF, and the
Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), supported
by the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID). Information from the
surveys are compiled by UNICEF Headquarters
and made available in a series of public-access
databases found at www. childinfo.org, which
are also published annually in The State of the
World’s Children report.
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys are nationally
representative, standardized sample surveys to
which UNICEF provides financial and technical
support. Since their inception in 1995, nearly 200
MICS have been carried out globally. The latest
round of surveys (MICS3) was conducted in more
than 50 countries between 2005 and 2006. The
next round is scheduled for 2009-2010. More
information is available at www.childinfo.org.
Demographic and Health Surveys are also nationally representative, standardized surveys that are
usually implemented every five years with funding
from USAID. The DHS is designed to collect a variety
of data on a broad range of demographic and health
issues and to be comparable over time and across
countries. More information is available at www.
measuredhs.com.
Indicators
Prevention indicators
The indicators to monitor prevention coverage
(such as immunization, nutrition, and water and
sanitation) presented in this report are based
on well known and long-standing child survival
indicators that are regularly used to monitor
progress towards global goals and commitments.
For example, data on water supply and sanitation
are based on the work of the WHO/UNICEF Joint
Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (www.wssinfo.org). Further information on
these prevention indicators, such as definitions and
data sources, are available at www.childinfo.org.
37
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Treatment indicators
Oral rehydration therapy with continued
feeding – Proportion of children aged 0-59 months
with diarrhoea receiving oral rehydration salts or
recommended homemade fluids or increased fluids,
and continued feeding during the diarrhoea episode.
This indicator reflects the UNICEF and WHO programme recommendations for diarrhoea treatment
(with the exception of zinc). The recommendations
were developed on the basis of broad consensus by
leading experts in the field during a UNICEF and
WHO advisory meeting in 2004,45 and re-confirmed
in a 2007 follow-up technical conference.46
ORS packets – Proportion of children aged 0-59
months with diarrhoea receiving oral rehydration
salts during the diarrhoea episode. This indicator
is based on information provided by mothers or
caregivers. Caregivers are asked whether their
children suffered from diarrhoea in the two weeks
prior to the survey. If so, they are then asked if the
child received a fluid made from a special packet of
ORS or a pre-packaged ORS fluid (where applicable)
during the diarrhoea episode.
Recommended homemade fluids – Proportion of
children aged 0-59 months with diarrhoea receiving
a government-recommended homemade fluid
(to be customized based on national guidelines)
during the diarrhoea episode. This indicator is based
on information provided by mothers or caregivers.
Caregivers are asked whether their children suffered
from diarrhoea in the two weeks prior to the survey.
If so, they are then asked if the child received a
government-recommended homemade fluid during
the diarrhoea episode. This question should be
customized prior to starting survey work to include
the specific fluids recommended by national
guidelines to treat diarrhoea.
38
Increased fluids – Proportion of children aged
0-59 months with diarrhoea receiving more to drink
during the diarrhoea episode. This indicator is based
on information provided by mothers or caregivers.
Caregivers are asked whether their children
suffered from diarrhoea in the two weeks prior to
the survey. If so, they are then asked if (during
this illness) the child received none, much less,
somewhat less, about the same, or more to drink
than usual. Children reported to have received
more to drink than usual during the illness are
considered to have received this intervention.
Continued feeding – Proportion of children aged
0-59 months with diarrhoea receiving more, about
the same or somewhat less food during the diarrhoea
episode. This indicator is based on information
provided by mothers or caregivers. Caregivers are
asked whether their children suffered from diarrhoea in the two weeks prior to the survey. If so,
they are then asked if (during the illness) the child
received none, much less, somewhat less, about the
same, or more food than usual. Children reported
to have received either somewhat less, about the
same, or more food than usual during the illness
are considered to have received this intervention.
Methodology
Regional and global estimates – These are based
on population-weighted averages, weighted by the
total number of children under five years of age.
These estimates are presented only if available data
cover at least 50 per cent of total children under five
years of age in regional or global groupings. The list
of countries included in these groupings is available
at www.childinfo.org.
Trends over time – Changes in treatment indicator
definitions over the years have resulted in a relative
Data used in this report
lack of comparable data from the 1990s in order to
assess trends over time. To the extent possible, data
collected through previous surveys have been reanalysed for the purposes of this report to conform
to the current indicator definition (ORT with continued feeding) to monitor treatment coverage.
For each of the treatment indicators, regional assessments of trends over time were conducted on
the basis of a subset of countries with two or more
comparable data points around the time periods
2000 and 2007. A linear regression line was then
fitted through all available data points for each
country included in the assessment to derive an
estimate for the earlier (2000) and later time periods
(2007). A regional estimate was then presented in
this report if the subset of countries included in
the trend analyses represented at least 50 per cent
of the total children under five in the regional or
global grouping.
Interpreting treatment coverage data from
household surveys
The interpretation of treatment coverage must take
into account a number of important issues:
First, the indicator to monitor current treatment
guidelines (ORT with continued feeding) reflects the
multiple components of this recommendation (with
the exception of zinc). As mentioned previously, this
indicator definition was developed and agreed upon
by leading experts at a UNICEF and WHO meeting
in 2004, and was recently re-confirmed during a
Countdown to 2015 technical meeting in 2007.47 It
is important to evaluate the contribution of each
individual component of the indicator to the overall
coverage value, and this assessment was presented
in this report.
Second, for some countries, comparisons of
treatment coverage based on the current indicator
definition with previously used indicators may
result in markedly different values. There may
39
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
also be a different assessment of trends over time
depending on the indicator used. It is therefore
important for countries to adopt and promote the
latest recommendations for treating diarrhoeal
diseases, and to monitor these programmes using
the appropriate indicators.
Third, prevalence estimates derived from nationallevel household surveys may vary markedly by
season and by timing of outbreaks (such as
cholera). Prevalence estimates are also affected
by the survey respondents’ understanding of what
constitutes a diarrhoea episode. The survey does
not measure the type of diarrhoea experienced
by the child (including its length and severity),
nor the extent of dehydration resulting from the
diarrhoea episode. These prevalence estimates
are used to derive the denominator for diarrhoea
treatment coverage values.
Fourth, information is not collected on the number
and timing of interventions used during the diarrhoea episode, including whether children received
early ORS administration, the number of ORS
packets received during the course of the illness, or
whether homemade fluids were correctly prepared.
In addition, different countries have different
guidelines on what constitutes a recommended
homemade fluid. These policies are not always
clearly defined, and survey questions may therefore
not be customized for countries according to their
specific national guidelines prior to starting
survey work. In these cases, survey respondents
must decide for themselves if the fluid the child
received was a government-recommended one,
leading to major data quality issues.
Fifth, while questions on diarrhoea treatment have
been incorporated into major national-level household surveys, such as the DHS, since the 1980s,
there have been a number of slight changes to the
construction of these questions over time, as well as
40
their response categories. Here again, it is important
to note that survey questionnaires are translated
into different languages, which may also result in
slight differences in the wording of questions across
countries and over time – affecting data collected
not only for the diarrhoea treatment indictors, but
for other information as well. Further research is
needed to determine the extent to which these
slight wording changes may have affected overall
coverage values.
The change in response categories for the continued
feeding indicator around 2000 has particularly
affected the availability of data to report on this
indicator as well as the ORT with continued feeding
indicator. For example, prior to 2000, caregivers
were asked if the child received more, the same
or less to eat during the diarrhoea episode. After
that time, the response categories were revised to
include ‘somewhat less’ and ‘much less’ in addition
to the other categories. Children are considered to
have received the continued feeding intervention
if they received the same, more or somewhat less
to eat during their illness. This leads to a lack of
available data to measure this indicator definition
prior to 2000, given that the caregiver responses
did not include a ‘somewhat less’ category.
References
References
1
United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health
Organization, ‘WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement:
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documents/intervention/acute_diarrhoea_joint_
statement.pdf>, accessed June 2009.
2
―, ‘Water with Sugar and Salt’, The Lancet, vol. 312,
no. 8084, 1978, pp. 300-301.
3
―, Weekly Epidemiological Record, vol. 83, no. 47, 21
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4
Black, R.E., S. Morris and J. Bryce, ‘Where and Why
are 10 Million Children Dying Every Year?’, The
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5
Fewtrell, L., et al., ‘Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Interventions to Reduce Diarrhoea in Less Developed
Countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis’,
The Lancet Infectious Diseases, vol. 5, no.1, 2005, pp.
42-52; Curtis V., and S. Cairncross, ‘Effect of Washing
Hands with Soap on Diarrhoea Risk in the Community:
A systematic review’, The Lancet Infectious Diseases,
vol. 3, no. 5, 2003, pp. 275-281; Luby, S.P., et al.,
‘Effect of Handwashing on Child Health: A randomised
controlled trial’, The Lancet, vol. 366, no. 9481, July
2005, pp. 225-233.
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Boschi Pinto, C., et al., ‘The Global Burden of
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2009 (in press).
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8
World Health Organization, The Evolution of Diarrhoeal
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11 World Health Organization, Antiretroviral Therapy
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12 Tindyebwa, D., et al., ‘Common Clinical Conditions
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Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
13 Lule, J.R., et al., ‘Effect of Home-Based Water Chlorination and Safe Storage on Diarrhea Among Persons
with Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Uganda’,
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
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14 Black, R.E., S. Morris and J. Bryce, ‘Where and Why
are 10 Million Children Dying Every Year?’, The Lancet, vol. 361, no. 9376, 28 June 2003, pp. 2226-2234.
15 Jamison, D.T., et al. (editors), Disease Control Priorities
in Developing Countries (Second Edition), London
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16 Ferriman, A., ‘BMJ readers choose the “sanitary
revolution” as greatest medical advance since 1840’,
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17 World Health Organization, ‘Water, Sanitation and
Hygiene: Quantifying the health impact at national
and local levels in countries with incomplete water
supply and sanitation coverage’, Environmental
burden of disease series, no.15, 2007.
18 Kar, K., ‘Subsidy or Self-Respect? Participatory total
community sanitation in Bangladesh’, IDS Working
paper 184, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton,
UK, 2003.
19 Jamison, Dean T., et al. (editors), Disease Control
Priorities in Developing Countries (Second Edition),
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,
London, 2008, <http://www.dcp2.org/pubs/PIH/2/>,
accessed June 2009.
20 Fewtrell, L., et al., ‘Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Interventions to Reduce Diarrhoea in Less Developed
Countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis’,
The Lancet Infectious Diseases, vol. 5, no. 1, 2005, pp.
42-52; Curtis V., and S. Cairncross, ‘Effect of Washing
Hands with Soap on Diarrhoea Risk in the Community:
A systematic review’, The Lancet Infectious Diseases,
vol. 3, no. 5, 2003, pp. 275-281; Luby, S.P., et al.,
‘Effect of Handwashing on Child Health: A randomised
controlled trial’, The Lancet, vol. 366, no. 9481, July
2005, pp. 225-233.
42
21 Curtis, V.A., and S. Cairncross, ‘Domestic Hygiene
and Diarrhoea, Pinpointing the Problem’, Tropical
Medicine and International Health, vol. 5, no. 1, 2000,
pp. 22-32.
22 World Health Organization, ‘Safe Water, Better
Health’, WHO, Geneva, 2008, <http://www.who.int/
quantifying_ehimpacts/publications/
saferwater/en/index.html>, accessed June 2009.
23 ―, Maternal and Child Undernutrition: Global and
regional exposures and health consequences’, The
Lancet, vol. 371, no. 9608, 2008, pp. 243-260.
24 Checkley, W., et al., ‘Effects of Acute Diarrhea on
Linear Growth in Peruvian Children’, American Journal
of Epidemiology, vol. 157, no. 2, 2003, pp. 166-175.
25 Feachem, R.G., et al., ‘Interventions for the Control of
Diarrhoeal Diseases Among Young Children: Promotion of breastfeeding’, Bulletin of the World Health
Organization, vol. 62, no. 2, 1983; Victora, C.G., et al.,
‘Evidence for the Protection of Breastfeeding Against
Infant Deaths from Infectious Diseases in Brazil’, The
Lancet, vol. 2, no. 8554,1987, pp. 319-322.
26 WHO Collaborative Study Team on the Role of Breastfeeding on the Prevention of Infant Mortality, ‘Effect
of Breastfeeding on Infant and Child Mortality due to
Infectious Diseases in Less Developed Countries: A
pooled analysis’, The Lancet, vol. 355, no. 9202, 2000,
pp. 451-455.
27 International Vitamin A Consultative Group, ‘IVACG
Policy Statement on Vitamin A, Diarrhea and
Measles’, IVACG, Washington DC, 1996; Barreto,
M.L., et al., ’Effect of Vitamin A Supplementation on
Diarrhoea and Acute Lower Respiratory Infections in
Young Children In Brazil’, The Lancet, vol. 344, no.
8917, 1994, pp. 228-231; Fawzi, W.W., et al., ‘Vitamin
A Supplementation and Child Mortality: A metaanalysis’, Journal of the American Medical Association,
vol. 269, no. 7, 1993, pp. 898-903.
28 International Vitamin A Consultative Group, ‘IVACG
Policy Statement on Vitamin A, Diarrhea and
Measles’, IVACG, Washington DC,1996; Barreto,
M.L., et al., ‘Effect of Vitamin A Supplementation
on Diarrhoea and Acute Lower Respiratory Infections
in Young Children in Brazil’, The Lancet, vol. 344,
no. 8917, 1994, pp. 228-231.
References
29 Zinc Investigators’ Collaborative Group, ‘Prevention of
Diarrhea and Pneumonia by Zinc Supplementation in
Children in Developing Countries: Pooled analysis of
randomized controlled trials’, Journal of Pediatrics,
vol. 135, no. 6, 1999, pp. 689-697; Lazzerini, M.,
and L. Ronfani, ‘Oral Zinc for Treating Diarrhoea in
Children’, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,
issue 3, article no. CD005436. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.
CD005436.pub2, 2008.
30 ― , Weekly Epidemiological Record, vol. 83, no. 47, 21
November 2008.
31 World Health Organization, ‘Estimated Rotavirus
Deaths for Children Under Five Years of Age: 2004’,
<http://www.who.int/immunization_monitoring/
burden/rotavirus_estimates/en/index.html>, accessed
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32 Rotavirus Vaccine Program, ‘Rotavirus Facts’, <http://
www.rotavirusvaccine.org>, accessed August 2009.
33 United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health
Organization, Model IMCI Handbook: Integrated
management of childhood illness, WHO, Geneva,
2005, <http://www.who.int/child_adolescent_health/
documents/9241546441/en/index.html>, accessed
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34 United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health
Organization, ‘WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement: Clinical
management of acute diarrhoea’, UNICEF, New York,
2004, <http://www.afro.who.int/cah/documents/
intervention/acute_diarrhoea_joint_statement.pdf>,
accessed June 2009.
35 ―, ‘Water with Sugar and Salt’, The Lancet, vol. 312,
no. 8084, 1978, pp. 300-301.
36 World Health Organization/United Nations Children’s
Fund, Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation:
Special focus on sanitation, UNICEF, New York, 2008.
39 Hoekstra, E.J., et al., ‘Reducing Measles Mortality,
Reducing Child Mortality’, The Lancet, vol. 368,
no. 9541, 2006, pp. 1050-1052.
40 Victora, C.G., et al., ‘Reduce Deaths Through Oral
Rehydration Therapy’, Bulletin of the World Health
Organization, vol. 78, no. 10, 2000, pp. 1246-1255.
41 United Nations Children’s Fund, Habits of a Lifetime,
UNICEF, Dhaka, 2008, <http://www.unicef.org/
bangladesh/media_4550.htm>, accessed June 2009.
42 UNICEF Supply Division, 2009.
43 United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health
Organization, ‘WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement: Clinical
management of acute diarrhoea’, UNICEF, New York,
2004, <http://www.afro.who.int/cah/documents/
intervention/acute_diarrhoea_joint_statement.pdf>,
accessed June 2009.
44 Curtis, V., L. Danquah and R. Aunger, ‘Habitual,
Motivated and Planned Handwashing: A review of
formative research from 11 countries, Health Education
Research, 2009.
45 United Nations Children’s Fund/World Health Organization, Summary of a meeting held on 17-18 June 2004,
<http://www.childinfo.org/mdg_methodology.html>,
accessed June 2009.
46 ‘Countdown to 2015’, Report of the meeting of the
Coverage Working Group for the Countdown to 2015
Conference, 7 September 2007, UNICEF, New York.
47 United Nations Children’s Fund/World Health Organization, Summary of a meeting held on 17-18 June 2004,
<http://www.childinfo.org/mdg_methodology.html>,
accessed June 2009; ‘Countdown to 2015’, Report of
the meeting of the Coverage Working Group for the
Countdown to 2015 Conference, 7 September 2007,
UNICEF, New York.
37 Ibid.
38 Measles Initiative, ‘Progress in Global Measles Control
and Mortality Reduction, 2000-2007’, The Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 57, no. 48, 5
December 2008, p.1303, <http://www.measlesinitiative.
org/docs/mi-mmwr-measles-update.pdf>,
accessed June 2009.
43
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
Statistical annex
Table
Table
Table
44
1
2
3
Demographics and diarrhoea treatment indicators 45
Diarrhoea prevention indicators
50
Use of oral rehydration therapy with continued
feeding, by background characteristics
55
Statistical annex
TABLE
1
Demographics and diarrhoea treatment indicators
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving:
Under-five
mortality rate
(per 1,000
live births)
Number of
under-five
deaths
(thousands)
Country or territory
2008
2008
Afghanistan
257
311
Number of
children
under five
(thousands)
ORT with
continued
feeding
2008
2005-2008a
4,907
–
ORS packet
2005-2008a
Recommended
homemade
fluids
2005-2008a
2005-2008a
Continued
feeding
2005-2008a
–
–
–
–
Increased
fluids
Source
Albania
14
1
217
50
56
76
12
53
MICS 2005
Algeria
41
30
3,328
24
19
12
7
79
MICS 2006
–
Andorra
4
0
4
–
–
–
–
220
165
3,170
–
–
–
–
–
Antigua and Barbuda
12
0
4
–
–
–
–
–
Argentina
16
11
3,361
–
–
–
–
–
Armenia
23
1
221
59
25
25
43
90
Australia
6
2
1,327
–
–
–
–
–
Angola
Austria
4
0
391
–
–
–
–
–
Azerbaijan
36
6
738
31
21
14
45
68
Bahamas
13
0
28
–
–
–
–
–
Bahrain
12
0
69
–
–
–
–
–
Bangladesh
54
183
16,710
68
77
20
48
80
Barbados
11
0
14
–
–
–
–
–
Belarus
13
1
472
54
36
61
37
62
Belgium
5
1
590
–
–
–
–
–
DHS 2005
DHS 2006
DHS 2007
MICS 2005
Belize
19
0
36
26
27
33
22
42
MICS 2006
Benin
121
39
1,450
42
23
10
35
77
DHS 2006
Bhutan
81
1
71
–
–
–
–
–
Bolivia, Plurinational State of
54
14
1,245
54 b
35
16 b
51 b
82 b
35
39
22
75
Bosnia and Herzegovina
15
0
172
Botswana
31
1
221
Brazil
22
67
7
0
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
53
pDHS 2008
DHS 2003
MICS 2005-2006
7b
49 b
2b
9b
8b
MICS 2000
16,125
–
44 b
16 b
55 b
–
DHS 1996
37
–
–
–
–
–
11
1
349
–
–
–
–
–
Burkina Faso
169
117
2,934
42
17
8
51
74
MICS 2006
Burundi
168
45
1,155
23
35
5
15
55
MICS 2005
Cambodia
90
32
1,611
50
21
21
38
84
DHS 2005
Cameroon
131
89
3,016
22
13
7
11
77
MICS 2006
–
Canada
6
2
1,753
–
–
–
–
29
0
59
–
–
–
–
–
Central African Republic
173
26
656
47
13
25
48
73
Chad
209
99
1,985
27 b
15 b
28 b
81 b
Chile
9
2
1,238
–
–
–
–
China
21
365
86,881
–
–
–
–
–
Colombia
20
18
4,485
39
47
23
42
59
DHS 2005
Comoros
105
2
97
31 b
19 b
19 b
38 b
53 b
MICS 2000
Congo
127
16
551
39
18
19
41
78
DHS 2005
15
0
2
–
–
–
–
–
Cape Verde
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Côte d’Ivoire
Croatia
4b
–
11
1
376
–
–
–
–
–
114
79
3,139
45
10
20
50
70
6
0
208
–
–
–
–
-–
–
Cuba
6
1
613
–
–
–
–
Cyprus
4
0
49
–
–
–
–
–
Czech Republic
4
0
519
–
–
–
–
-–
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Democratic Republic of the Congo
55
18
1,575
–
–
–
–
–
199
554
11,829
42
31
20
35
71
MICS 2006
DHS 2004
MICS 2006
DHS 2007
45
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
TABLE
1
Demographics and diarrhoea treatment indicators (continued)
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving:
Under-five
mortality rate
(per 1,000
live births)
Country or territory
Denmark
2008
4
Number of
under-five
deaths
(thousands)
Number of
children
under five
(thousands)
ORT with
continued
feeding
2008
2008
2005-2008a
0
320
ORS packet
2005-2008a
Recommended
homemade
fluids
2005-2008a
2005-2008a
Continued
feeding
2005-2008a
–
–
–
–
–
Increased
fluids
Djibouti
95
2
108
33
62
17
51
38
Dominica
11
0
3
–
–
–
–
–
Source
MICS 2006
Dominican Republic
33
7
1,086
55
41
11
37
86
Ecuador
25
7
1,392
–
–
–
–
–
Egypt
23
45
9,447
19
28
3
11
48
DHS 2008
El Salvador
18
2
608
–
58
–
–
–
ONS 2008
Equatorial Guinea
DHS 2007
148
3
103
36 b
29 b
25 b
44 b
55 b
MICS 2000
58
10
811
54 b
45 b
28 b
38 b
75 b
DHS 2002
6
0
73
–
–
–
–
–
109
321
13,323
15
20
19
9
44
18
0
87
–
–
–
–
–
Finland
3
0
291
–
–
–
–
–
France
4
3
3,870
–
–
–
–
–
Gabon
77
3
182
44 b
25 b
17 b
63 b
60 b
DHS 2000
Gambia
106
6
267
38
40
10
53
53
MICS 2006
Georgia
30
2
241
37
40
14
36
60
MICS 2005
4
3
3,446
–
–
–
–
–
76
55
3,319
29
45
9
34
50
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Germany
Ghana
Greece
4
0
532
–
–
–
–
–
Grenada
15
0
9
–
–
–
–
–
Guatemala
35
15
2,118
–
34 b
10 b
48 b
Guinea
146
54
1,635
38
Guinea-Bissau
33
7
33
DHS 2005
pDHS 2008
MICS 2006
–
ONS 2002
71
DHS 2005
195
12
265
25
23
27
17
44
MICS 2006
Guyana
61
1
69
28
39
16
13
50
MICS 2006-2007
Haiti
DHS 2005-2006
72
19
1,252
43
40
44
26
78
Holy See
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Honduras
31
6
958
49
56
–
34
75
Hungary
7
1
486
–
–
–
–
–
Iceland
DHS 2005-2006
3
0
22
–
–
–
–
–
India
69
1,830
126,642
33
26
20
10
70
DHS 2005-2006
Indonesia
41
173
20,891
54
35
22
30
88
DHS 2007
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
32
46
6,402
–
–
–
–
–
Iraq
44
41
4,450
64
31
91
23
67
4
0
335
–
–
–
–
–
–
Ireland
Israel
5
1
693
–
–
–
–
Italy
4
2
2,892
–
–
–
–
–
31
2
255
39
40
–
31
57
4
4
5,400
–
–
–
–
–
Jamaica
Japan
MICS 2006
MICS 2005
Jordan
20
3
750
32
20
9
46
62
DHS 2007
Kazakhstan
30
10
1,384
48
74
18
45
59
MICS 2006
Kenya
128
189
6,540
33 b
29 b
20 b
34 b
67 b
Kiribati
48
0
10
–
–
–
–
–
DHS 2003
Kuwait
11
1
249
–
–
–
–
–
Kyrgyzstan
38
5
547
22
20
5
25
52
MICS 2006
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
61
10
776
49
39
30
53
70
MICS 2006
9
0
109
–
–
–
–
–
13
1
323
–
–
–
–
–
Latvia
Lebanon
46
Statistical annex
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving:
Under-five
mortality rate
(per 1,000
live births)
Number of
under-five
deaths
(thousands)
Number of
children
under five
(thousands)
ORT with
continued
feeding
2005-2008a
ORS packet
2005-2008a
Recommended
homemade
fluids
2005-2008a
2005-2008a
Continued
feeding
2005-2008a
Increased
fluids
2008
2008
2008
Lesotho
79
5
272
53 b
42 b
55 b
32 b
66 b
DHS 2004
Liberia
145
20
619
47
53
11
30
67
DHS 2007
17
2
700
–
–
–
–
–
Country or territory
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Liechtenstein
2
0
2
–
–
–
–
–
Lithuania
7
0
151
–
–
–
–
–
Luxembourg
3
0
27
–
–
–
–
–
Madagascar
106
71
3,060
47 b
12 b
32 b
35 b
80 b
Malawi
100
56
2,591
27
55
1
9
44
6
4
2,732
–
–
–
–
–
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
28
0
27
–
–
–
–
–
194
100
2,207
38
14
13
35
77
6
0
19
–
–
–
–
–
Source
DHS 2003-2004
MICS 2006
DHS 2006
36
0
6
–
–
–
–
–
Mauritania
118
12
475
32
20
14
38
48
Mauritius
17
0
91
–
–
–
–
–
Mexico
17
36
10,281
–
81 b
–
–
–
Micronesia (Federated States of)
39
0
14
–
–
–
–
–
Moldova
17
1
200
48
33
–
43
82
Monaco
4
0
2
–
–
–
–
–
41
2
229
47
38
30
33
72
MICS 2005
8
0
38
64
16
100
18
64
MICS 2005
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
ONS 1996-1997
DHS 2005
36
24
3,041
46 b
23 b
42 b
84 b
130
110
3,820
47
46
19
23
75
Myanmar
98
98
4,629
65 b
53 b
46 b
20 b
81 b
Namibia
42
2
277
48
63
21
16
72
DHS 2006-2007
Mozambique
7b
MICS 2007
DHS 2003-2004
MICS 2008
MICS 2003
Nauru
45
0
1
68
–
–
–
–
pnDHS 2007
Nepal
51
37
3,535
37
29
–
22
89
DHS 2006
5
1
958
–
–
–
–
–
Netherlands
New Zealand
6
0
288
–
–
–
–
–
27
4
675
49 b
50 b
54 b
39 b
70 b
DHS 2001
Niger
167
121
3,121
34
18
11
36
69
DHS 2006
Nigeria
186
1,077
25,020
28 b
26
17 b
20 b
71 b
Niue
–
–
0
–
–
–
–
–
Norway
4
0
293
–
–
–
–
–
Occupied Palestinian Territory
27
4
697
–
–
–
45 b
–
Oman
12
1
293
–
–
–
–
–
Pakistan
89
465
23,778
37
41
16
21
69
Palau
15
0
2
–
–
–
–
–
Panama
23
2
345
–
–
–
–
–
Papua New Guinea
69
14
950
–
–
–
–
–
Paraguay
28
4
736
–
24 b
43 b
46 b
–
DHS 1990
Peru
24
15
2,975
60
25
17
60
82
DHS 2004-2006
Philippines
32
73
10,701
76 b
47
24 b
2b
94 b
Nicaragua
Poland
7
3
1,810
–
–
–
–
–
Portugal
4
0
538
–
–
–
–
–
10
0
77
–
–
–
–
–
5
2
2,292
–
–
–
–
–
Qatar
Republic of Korea
pDHS 2008
DHS 2003
ONS 2000
DHS 2006-2007
pnDHS 2008
DHS 2003
47
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
TABLE
1
Demographics and diarrhoea treatment indicators (continued)
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving:
Under-five
mortality rate
(per 1,000
live births)
Country or territory
Romania
Russian Federation
Number of
under-five
deaths
(thousands)
Number of
children
under five
(thousands)
ORT with
continued
feeding
2005-2008a
2008
2008
2008
14
3
1,059
–
ORS packet
2005-2008a
Recommended
homemade
fluids
2005-2008a
2005-2008a
Continued
feeding
2005-2008a
–
–
–
–
Increased
fluids
Source
13
20
7,389
–
–
–
–
–
112
41
1,646
24
21
11
15
74
Saint Kitts and Nevis
16
0
2
–
–
–
–
–
Saint Lucia
13
0
15
–
–
–
–
–
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
13
0
9
–
–
–
–
–
Samoa
26
0
22
–
–
–
–
–
2
0
2
–
–
–
–
–
Sao Tome and Principe
98
0
23
63
31
17
61
81
Saudi Arabia
21
12
2,859
–
–
–
–
–
108
49
2,046
43
15
14
39
81
DHS 2005
7
1
576
71
17
96
36
75
MICS 2005
Rwanda
San Marino
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
12
0
14
–
–
–
–
–
194
43
947
31
68
12
51
40
Singapore
3
0
200
–
–
–
–
–
Slovakia
8
0
266
–
–
–
–
–
Slovenia
4
0
94
–
–
–
–
–
36
1
73
76
–
–
–
–
200
76
1,611
7
13
9
3
28
67
73
5,200
–
40 b
38 b
24 b
57 b
–
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
Spain
DHS 2007-2008
DHS 2005
MICS 2006
pDHS 2008
MICS 2005
pnDHS 2007
MICS 2006
DHS 2003-2004
4
2
2,373
–
–
–
–
15
6
1,784
–
50
–
–
–
109
138
5,836
56
31
–
26
79
ONS 2006
Suriname
27
0
49
28
44
91
41
49
MICS 2006
Swaziland
83
3
159
22
86
20
26
55
DHS 2006-2007
3
0
527
–
–
–
–
–
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Sweden
Switzerland
pDHS 2006-2007
5
0
364
–
–
–
–
–
Syrian Arab Republic
16
10
2,807
34
50
31
35
47
Tajikistan
64
12
871
22
48
25
22
36
MICS 2005
Thailand
14
14
4,843
46
57
23
7
69
MICS 2005-2006
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 11
0
112
45
24
63
14
55
MICS 2005
Timor-Leste
93
4
185
–
60 b
43 b
–
nDHS 2003
Togo
98
20
947
22
10
13
13
67
MICS 2006
Tonga
19
0
14
–
–
–
–
–
Trinidad and Tobago
35
1
94
–
–
–
–
–
Tunisia
21
3
780
62
71
16
51
72
Turkey
22
30
6,543
–
14 b
15 b
60 b
Turkmenistan
48
5
518
25
40
15
39
7b
DHS 1998
42
MICS 2006
36
0
1
–
–
–
–
–
Uganda
135
190
6,182
39
40
7
20
73
Ukraine
16
7
2,132
–
–
–
–
–
United Arab Emirates
8
0
307
–
–
–
–
–
United Kingdom
6
4
3,601
–
–
–
–
–
104
175
7,566
53
54
20
36
76
8
35
21,624
–
–
–
–
–
United States
Uruguay
14
1
249
–
–
–
–
–
Uzbekistan
38
21
2,576
28
28
36
34
47
48
MICS 2006
–
Tuvalu
United Republic of Tanzania
MICS 2006
DHS 2006
DHS 2004-2005
MICS 2006
Statistical annex
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving:
Under-five
mortality rate
(per 1,000
live births)
Number of
under-five
deaths
(thousands)
Number of
children
under five
(thousands)
ORT with
continued
feeding
2008
2005-2008a
ORS packet
2005-2008a
Recommended
homemade
fluids
2005-2008a
2005-2008a
Continued
feeding
2005-2008a
Source
–
–
–
–
pMICS 2007
MICS 2000
Increased
fluids
2008
2008
Vanuatu
33
0
33
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
18
11
2,911
51 b
38 b
60 b
15 b
66 b
Viet Nam
14
21
7,316
65
26
23
41
66
MICS 2006
Yemen
69
57
3,733
48
33
63
60
51
MICS 2006
Zambia
148
77
2,282
56
60
10
34
76
DHS 2007
57
21
1,707
47
6
61
32
66
DHS 2005-2006
AFRICA
132
4,475
151,830
35
29
14
25
64
Sub-Saharan Africa
144
4,371
134,534
37
29
15
27
66
Eastern and Southern Africa
119
1,635
61,795
33
36
16
20
60
West and Central Africa
169
2,596
66,795
38
25
14
36
69
Middle East and North Africa
43
420
46,256
39
32
32
25
61
ASIA
54
3,665
323,567
40
34
20
18
73
South Asia
76
2,832
177,453
37
33
20
16
71
East Asia and Pacific
28
832
146,114
55 c
38 c
23 c
30 c
80 c
Latin America and Caribbean
23
247
53,618
–
–
–
–
–
CEE/CIS
23
127
26,561
–
–
–
–
–
6
67
56,038
–
–
–
–
–
71
8,654
566,411
39 c
33 c
20 c
22 c
69 c
129
3,516
122,674
43
39
18
32
69
65
8,757
634,631
39 c
33 c
20 c
22 c
69 c
Country or territory
Zimbabwe
Industrialized countries
Developing countries
Least developed countries
World
43
Source:
Data are from the UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, which include survey data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and other national
surveys (ONS).
The complete databases (including time series, disparities and detailed source information) are available at: www.childinfo.org. Demographic information is based on the latest estimates from the
United Nations Population Division (children under age five) and the Inter-agency Child Mortality Estimation Group (under-five deaths).
‘p’ refers to preliminary survey report; ‘n’ refers to national survey report.
Data are as of 15 August 2009.
Notes:
(a) Data refer to the most recent year available during the period specified in the column heading.
(b) Data refer to a year or period other than that specified in the column heading.
(c) Excludes China.
Indicator definitions:
ORT with continued feeding: Percentage of children aged 0-59 months with diarrhoea in the previous two weeks receiving oral rehydration therapy (ORS packet or recommended homemade fluids or
increased fluids) and continued feeding during the diarrhoea episode. Survey data were re-analysed to conform to this indicator definition.
ORS packet: Percentage of children aged 0-59 months with diarrhoea in the previous two weeks receiving at least one ORS packet (either pre-packaged ORS fluids or fluids from an ORS packet) during
the diarrhoea episode.
Recommended homemade fluids: Percentage of children aged 0-59 months with diarrhoea in the previous two weeks receiving at least one recommended homemade fluid during the diarrhoea
episode. Survey questions should be customized to reflect national guidelines designating a set of appropriate fluids that may be prepared at home. However, most survey data are not collected
using customized questions (see section entitled ‘Data used in this report’ on page 37).
Increased fluids: Percentage of children aged 0-59 months with diarrhoea in the previous two weeks receiving more to drink than usual during the diarrhoea episode.
Continued feeding: Percentage of children aged 0-59 months with diarrhoea in the previous two weeks receiving either the same, more or somewhat less to eat than usual during the diarrhoea episode.
49
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
TABLE
2
Diarrhoea prevention indicators
Percentage of population using:
Country or territory
Percentage of children who are:
Percentage
of oneStunted
Underweight
(moderate
Exclusively
(moderate
Improved drinking Improved sanitation year-olds
immunized
breastfed
and severe) and severe)
water sources
facilities
against
measles 0-59 months 0-59 months 0-5 months
Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural
2008
2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006
2003-2008a 2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Breastfed
with
complementary
foods
Still
breastfeeding
6-9 months 20-23 months
2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Vitamin A
supplementation
coverage rate
(% full coverage)
6-59 months
2008b
Afghanistan
22
37
17
30
45
25
75
33 c
59 c
–
29
54
Albania
97
97
97
97
98
97
98
6
26
40
69
22
–
98
87
88
3
15
7
39
22
–
100 100
98
–
–
–
–
–
–
82
–
Algeria
85
87
81
94
Andorra
100
100
100
100
Angola
51
62
39
50
79
16
79
16 c
29 c
11d
77 d
37 d
–
95
–
–
98
–
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
96
98
80
91
92
83
99
2c
8c
–
–
28
–
96
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
98
99
96
91
81
94
4
18
33
57
15
–
Australia
100
100
100
100
100 100
94
–
–
–
–
–
–
Austria
100
100
100
100
100 100
83
–
–
–
–
–
–
78
95
59
80
66
8
25
12
44
16
90 e
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
–
98
–
100
Bahrain
–
100
–
–
Bangladesh
90
70
100 100
90
–
–
–
–
–
–
100
–
99
–
–
34d
65 d
41 d
–
97
80
85
78
36
48
32
89
41
43
43
74
91
Barbados
100
100
100
99
99 100
92
–
–
–
–
–
–
Belarus
100
100
99
93
91
97
99
1
4
9
38
4
–
Belgium
–
100
–
–
–
–
93
–
–
–
–
–
–
Belize
–
100
–
–
–
–
96
4
22
10
–
27
–
52
Benin
65
78
57
30
59
11
61
18
43
43
72
57
Bhutan
81
98
79
52
71
50
99
14 d
48 d
–
–
–
–
Bolivia, Plurinational State of
86
96
69
43
54
22
86
–
–
60
81
40
45
Bosnia and Herzegovina
99
100
98
95
99
92
84
1
10
18
29
10
–
Botswana
96
100
90
47
60
30
94
11 d
29 d
34d
57 d
11 d
–
Brazil
91
97
58
77
84
37
99
2
7
40
70
25 c
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
97
–
–
–
–
–
–
Bulgaria
99
100
97
99
100
96
96
–
–
–
–
–
–
Burkina Faso
72
97
66
13
41
6
75
–
–
7
50
85
100
Brunei Darussalam
Burundi
71
84
70
41
44
41
84
35
–
45
88
–
80
Cambodia
65
80
61
28
62
19
89
28
42
60
82
54
88
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
70
88
47
51
58
42
80
16
36
21
64
21
–
100
100
99
100
100
99
94
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
96
–
–
60
80
13
–
66
90
51
31
40
25
62
24
43
23
55
47
68
Chad
48
71
40
9
23
4
23
–
–
2
77
65
0
Chile
95
98
72
94
97
74
92
–
–
–
–
–
–
China
88
98
81
65
74
59
94
6
15
–
32
15
–
Colombia
93
99
77
78
85
58
92
5c
15c
47
65
32
–
Comoros
85
91
81
35
49
26
76
–
–
Congo
71
95
35
20
19
21
79
11
30
Cook Islands
95
98
88
100
Costa Rica
98
99
96
96
100 100
96
95
21d
34 d
45 d
20
19
78
21
10
95
–
–
19d
–
–
–
91
–
–
15
–
49
–
90
Côte d’Ivoire
81
98
66
24
38
12
63
16
40
4
54
37
Croatia
99
100
98
99
99
98
96
–
–
23d
–
–
–
Cuba
91
95
78
98
99
95
99
–
–
26
47
16
–
Cyprus
100
100
100
100
100 100
87
–
–
–
–
–
–
Czech Republic
100
100
100
99
100
97
–
–
–
–
–
–
50
98
Statistical annex
Percentage of population using:
Country or territory
Percentage
of oneStunted
Underweight
(moderate
Exclusively
(moderate
Improved drinking Improved sanitation year-olds
immunized
breastfed
and severe) and severe)
water sources
facilities
against
measles 0-59 months 0-59 months 0-5 months
Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural
2008
2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006
2003-2008a 2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 100
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Percentage of children who are:
Breastfed
with
complementary
foods
Still
breastfeeding
6-9 months 20-23 months
2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Vitamin A
supplementation
coverage rate
(% full coverage)
6-59 months
2008b
100
100
–
–
–
98
18 c
45 c
65
31
37
98
46
82
29
31
42
25
67
25
46
36
82
64
85
100
100
100
100
100 100
89
–
–
–
–
–
–
92
98
54
67
11
73
31 c
33 c
1
23
18
86
76
–
100
–
–
–
–
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
Dominican Republic
95
97
91
79
81
74
79
7
18
9
62
21
–
Ecuador
95
98
91
84
91
72
66
6
–
40
77
23
Egypt
98
99
98
66
85
52
92
6
29
53
66
35 c
El Salvador
84
94
68
86
90
80
95
6c
19 c
31
–
–
–
Equatorial Guinea
43
45
42
51
60
46
51
16 d
43 d
24d
–
–
–
49
–
68 e
Eritrea
60
74
57
5
14
3
95
35 d
44 d
52d
43 d
62 d
Estonia
100
100
99
95
96
94
95
–
–
–
–
–
–
Ethiopia
42
96
31
11
27
8
74
33
51
49
54
88 c
88
87
55
94
–
–
40
–
–
–
100 100
97
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
6d
62 d
Fiji
47
43
51
71
Finland
100
100
100
100
France
100
100
100
–
–
–
87
Gabon
87
95
47
36
37
30
55
Gambia
86
91
81
52
50
55
91
Georgia
99
100
97
93
94
92
Germany
100
100
100
100
100 100
8d
25 d
9d
0
16
28
41
44
53
28
96
2
13
11
35
20
–
95
–
–
–
–
–
–
Ghana
80
90
71
10
15
6
86
14
28
63
75
44
24
Greece
100
100
99
98
99
97
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
97
–
97
96
97
99
–
–
39d
–
–
–
Guatemala
96
99
94
84
90
79
96
18 d
54 d
51d
67 d
47 d
20
Guinea
70
91
59
19
33
12
64
21
40
48
32
–
94
Guinea-Bissau
57
82
47
33
48
26
76
15
47
16
35
61
66
Guyana
93
98
91
81
85
80
95
10
17
21
34
48
–
Haiti
58
70
51
19
29
12
58
18
29
41
87
35
–
Grenada
Holy See
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Honduras
84
95
74
66
78
55
95
8
29
30
69
48
–
Hungary
100
100
100
100
100 100
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
Iceland
100
100
100
100
100 100
96
–
–
–
–
–
–
India
89
96
86
28
52
18
70
43
48
46
57
77
53
Indonesia
80
89
71
52
67
37
83
18
37
32
75
50
86
–
99
–
–
–
–
98
–
–
23
68
58
–
77
88
56
76
80
69
69
6
26
25
51
36
–
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
–
100
–
–
–
–
89
–
–
–
–
–
–
100
100
100
–
100
–
84
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
100
–
–
–
–
91
–
–
–
–
–
–
93
97
88
83
82
84
88
2
4
15
36
24
–
100 100
100
100
100
100
97
–
–
–
–
–
–
Jordan
98
99
91
85
88
71
95
4d
12 d
22
66
11
–
Kazakhstan
96
99
91
97
97
98
99
4
17
17
39
16
–
Kenya
57
85
49
42
19
48
90
–
–
13
84
57
27
Kiribati
65
77
53
33
46
20
72
–
–
80d
–
–
–
Kuwait
–
–
–
–
–
–
99
–
–
12d
26 d
9d
–
51
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
TABLE
2
Diarrhoea prevention indicators (continued)
Percentage of population using:
Country or territory
Percentage of children who are:
Percentage
of oneStunted
Underweight
(moderate
Exclusively
(moderate
Improved drinking Improved sanitation year-olds
immunized
breastfed
and severe) and severe)
water sources
facilities
against
measles 0-59 months 0-59 months 0-5 months
Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural
2008
2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006
2003-2008a 2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Breastfed
with
complementary
foods
Still
breastfeeding
6-9 months 20-23 months
2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Vitamin A
supplementation
coverage rate
(% full coverage)
6-59 months
2008b
Kyrgyzstan
89
99
83
93
94
93
99
2
18
32
49
26
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
60
86
53
48
87
38
52
31
48
26
70
48
99
–
Latvia
99
100
96
78
82
71
97
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Lebanon
100
100
100
–
100
–
53
–
–
27d
35 d
11 d
Lesotho
78
93
74
36
43
34
85
14 c
42 c
36
79
60
–
Liberia
64
72
52
32
49
7
64
19
39
29
62
47
–
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
–
–
–
97
97
96
98
4d
21 d
–
–
23 d
–
Liechtenstein
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
97
–
–
–
–
–
–
100 100
96
–
–
–
–
–
–
Lithuania
–
–
–
–
Luxembourg
100
100
100
100
Madagascar
47
76
36
12
18
10
81
36
53
67
78
64
97
Malawi
76
96
72
60
51
62
88
15
53
57
89
72
95
Malaysia
99
100
96
94
95
93
95
–
–
29d
–
12 d
–
Maldives
83
98
76
59
100
42
97
26 d
32 d
10d
85 d
–
–
97
Mali
60
86
48
45
59
39
68
27
38
38
30
56
Malta
100
100
100
–
100
–
78
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
94
–
–
31
77
53
–
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
60
70
54
24
44
10
65
24 c
32 c
16
72
–
87
100
100
100
94
95
94
98
–
–
21d
–
–
–
Mexico
95
98
85
81
91
48
96
3
16
38d
36 d
21 d
–
Micronesia (Federated States of)
94
95
94
25
61
14
92
–
–
60d
–
–
–
Moldova
90
96
85
79
85
73
94
3
10
46
18
2
–
Monaco
–
100
–
–
100
–
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
Mongolia
72
90
48
50
64
31
97
5
27
57
57
65
–
Montenegro
98
100
96
91
96
86
89
2
7
19
35
13
–
Morocco
83
100
58
72
85
54
96
9
23
31
66
15
–
Mauritius
Mozambique
42
71
26
31
53
19
77
–
–
37
84
54
83
Myanmar
80
80
80
82
85
81
82
30
41
15
66
67
94
Namibia
93
99
90
35
66
18
73
17
29
24
72
28
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
99
5
24
67
65
65 c
–
45
24
79
39
49
53
75
95
100 100
96
–
–
–
–
–
–
86
–
–
–
–
–
–
Nauru
Nepal
89
94
88
27
Netherlands
100
100
100
100
New Zealand
–
100
–
–
–
–
93
Nicaragua
79
90
63
48
57
34
99
6
22
31
76
43
–
Niger
42
91
32
7
27
3
80
36 c
47 c
4
66
–
92
35
25
62
23
41
13
75
32
74
100 100
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Nigeria
47
65
30
30
Niue
100
100
100
100
Norway
100
100
100
–
–
–
93
89
90
88
80
84
69
96
–
–
27
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
97
–
99
11 d
13 d
–
91 d
73 d
–
Pakistan
90
95
87
58
90
40
85
31 d
42 d
37
36
55
Palau
89
79
94
67
96
52
97
–
–
59d
–
–
–
Panama
92
96
81
74
78
63
85
6d
22 d
25d
38 d
21 d
–
–
Occupied Palestinian Territory
Oman
97
Papua New Guinea
40
88
32
45
67
41
54
18 c
43 c
56
76
72
Paraguay
77
94
52
70
89
42
77
3
18
22
60
–
–
Peru
84
92
63
72
85
36
90
6
30
69
–
–
–
52
Statistical annex
Percentage of population using:
Country or territory
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Republic of Korea
Percentage of children who are:
Percentage
of oneStunted
Underweight
(moderate
Exclusively
(moderate
Improved drinking Improved sanitation year-olds
immunized
breastfed
and severe) and severe)
water sources
facilities
against
measles 0-59 months 0-59 months 0-5 months
Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural
2008
2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006
2003-2008a 2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Breastfed
with
complementary
foods
Still
breastfeeding
6-9 months 20-23 months
2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Vitamin A
supplementation
coverage rate
(% full coverage)
6-59 months
2008b
93
96
88
78
81
72
92
21
34
34
58
34
86
–
100
–
–
–
–
98
–
–
–
–
–
–
99
99
100
99
99
98
97
–
–
–
–
–
–
100
100
100
100
100 100
92
–
–
12d
48 d
21 d
–
–
97
–
–
–
–
92
–
Romania
88
99
76
72
88
54
97
4d
–
–
–
–
–
13 d
16
41
–
–
Russian Federation
97
100
88
87
93
70
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
Rwanda
65
82
61
48
51
47
92
18
51
88
69
77
–
Saint Kitts and Nevis
99
99
99
96
96
96
99
–
–
56d
–
–
–
Saint Lucia
98
98
98
–
–
–
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
96
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
88
90
87
100
100 100
45
–
–
–
–
–
–
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
–
–
–
–
–
–
73
–
–
–
–
–
–
86
88
83
24
29
18
93
7
29
60
60
18
23
–
97
–
–
100
–
97
–
–
31d
60 d
30 d
–
Senegal
77
93
65
28
54
9
77
14
19
34
61
42
90
Serbia
99
99
98
92
96
88
92
1
7
15
39
8
–
–
100
–
–
– 100
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
53
83
32
11
20
5
60
21
36
11
73
50
12
–
100
–
–
100
–
95
3d
4d
–
–
–
–
Slovakia
100
100
100
100
100
99
99
–
–
–
–
–
–
Slovenia
–
–
–
–
–
–
96
–
–
–
–
–
–
Solomon Islands
70
94
65
32
98
18
60
12
33
74
81
67
–
Somalia
29
63
10
23
51
7
24
32
42
9
15
35
100
66
49
62
–
–
8
49
31
39
100 100
98
–
–
–
–
–
–
98
22
18
76
86
83
–
67
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
93
100
82
59
100
100
100
100
82
98
79
86
89
86
Sudan
70
78
64
35
50
24
79
27
40
34
56
35
Suriname
92
97
79
82
89
60
86
7
11
2
34
15
–
Swaziland
60
87
51
50
64
46
95
5
29
32
77
31
44
Sweden
100
100
100
100
100 100
96
–
–
–
–
–
–
Switzerland
100
100
100
100
100 100
87
–
–
–
–
–
–
Syrian Arab Republic
89
95
83
92
96
88
81
9
28
29
37
16
–
Tajikistan
67
93
58
92
95
91
86
15
39
25
15
34
87
Thailand
98
99
97
96
95
96
98
7
16
5
43
19
–
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 100
100
99
89
92
81
98
2
11
37d
10 d
–
8d
Timor-Leste
62
77
56
41
64
32
73
–
–
31
82
35
–
Togo
59
86
40
12
24
3
77
21
27
48
70
–
64
Tonga
100
100
100
96
98
96
99
–
–
62d
–
–
–
Trinidad and Tobago
94
97
93
92
92
92
91
–
–
13
43
22
–
Tunisia
94
99
84
85
96
64
98
–
–
6
61
15
–
Turkey
97
98
95
88
96
72
97
–
–
40
71
26 c
–
Turkmenistan
–
–
–
–
–
–
99
8
19
11
54
37
–
Tuvalu
93
94
92
89
93
84
93
2
10
35
40
51 c
–
Uganda
64
90
60
33
29
34
68
16
38
60
80
54
67
Ukraine
97
97
97
93
97
83
94
–
–
18
55
6
–
53
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
TABLE
2
Diarrhoea prevention indicators (continued)
Percentage of population using:
Percentage of children who are:
Breastfed
with
complementary
foods
Country or territory
Percentage
of oneStunted
Underweight
(moderate
Exclusively
(moderate
Improved drinking Improved sanitation year-olds
immunized
breastfed
and severe) and severe)
water sources
facilities
against
measles 0-59 months 0-59 months 0-5 months
Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural
2008
2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006
2003-2008a 2003-2008a 2003-2008a
United Arab Emirates
100
100
100
97
98
95
92
–
–
34d
52d
29 d
United Kingdom
100
100
100
–
–
–
86
–
–
–
–
–
–
55
81
46
33
31
34
88
17
44
41
91
55
93
United Republic of Tanzania
United States
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Still
breastfeeding
6-9 months 20-23 months
2003-2008a 2003-2008a
Vitamin A
supplementation
coverage rate
(% full coverage)
6-59 months
2008b
–
99
100
94
100
100
99
92
1d
3d
–
–
–
–
100
100
100
100
100
99
95
5d
15 d
57
35
28
–
88
98
82
96
97
95
98
4
19
26
45
38
38
Vanuatu
–
–
–
–
–
–
65
–
–
40
62
32
–
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
–
–
–
–
–
–
82
–
–
50 d
31 d
92
98
90
65
88
56
92
–
–
70
23
Viet Nam
7d
17
–
98 e
Yemen
66
68
65
46
88
30
62
43
58
12
76
–
–
Zambia
58
90
41
52
55
51
85
15
45
61
93
42
96
Zimbabwe
81
98
72
46
63
37
66
12
33
22
79
40 c
AFRICA
64
84
51
38
53
29
74
21
40
32
69
49
Sub-Saharan Africa
58
81
46
31
42
24
72
23
42
31
70
52
74
59
88
48
34
48
28
77
23
45
42
72
61
75
73
Eastern and Southern Africa
–
73
West and Central Africa
56
77
41
27
37
20
66
22
40
22
70
45
Middle East and North Africa
87
94
78
73
87
53
86
14
32
30
60
34
–
ASIA
87
96
82
51
69
41
82
27
36
41
51
53
70 f
South Asia
87
94
84
33
57
23
74
42
48
45
55
75
64
East Asia and Pacific
88
96
81
66
75
59
91
11
22
–
45
26
89 f
Latin America and Caribbean
92
97
73
78
86
52
93
4
14
41
69
28
–
CEE/CIS
95
99
88
89
94
79
96
–
–
27
53
23
–
100
100
98
100
100
99
93
–
–
–
–
–
–
Developing countries
Industrialized countries
84
94
76
53
71
39
81
23
34
37
58
50
71 f
Least developed countries
62
81
55
33
49
27
76
28
45
39
69
67
85
World
87
96
78
62
79
45
83
23
34
37
57
49
71 f
Source:
United Nations Children’s Fund, The State of the World’s Children 2010 (forthcoming).
Data are as of 15 August 2009.
Notes:
(a) Data refer to the most recent year available during the period specified in the column heading.
(b) The percentage of children reached with two doses in 2008 is reported as the lower percentage of two coverage points. ‘0’ (zero) indicates that only one dose was delivered in 2008.
(c) Data refer to the years or periods other than those specified in the column heading, differ from the standard indicator definition or refer to only part of a country.
Such data are included in the calculation of global and regional averages.
(d) Data refer to the years or periods other than those specified in the column heading, differ from the standard indicator definition or refer to only part of a country.
Such data are not included in the calculation of global and regional averages.
(e) Identifies countries with national vitamin A supplementation programmes targeted toward a reduced age range. Coverage figure is reported as targeted.
(f) Excludes China.
Indicator definitions:
Underweight (moderate and severe): Percentage of children aged 0-59 months who are below minus two standard deviations from median weight for age of the WHO Child Growth Standards
published in 2006.
Stunting (moderate and severe): Percentage of children aged 0-59 months who are below minus two standard deviations from median height for age of the WHO Child Growth Standards published
in 2006.
Vitamin A supplementation (full coverage): Percentage of children aged 6-59 months who received 2 doses of vitamin A supplements in 2008.
Measles immunization: Percentage of one-year-old children immunized against measles
Improved drinking water: Percentage of the population using improved drinking water sources.
Improved sanitation facilities: Percentage of the population using improved sanitation facilities.
54
Statistical annex
TABLE
3
Use of oral rehydration therapy with continued feeding, by background characteristics
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving oral rehydration therapy
(ORS packet or recommended homemade fluids or increased fluids) with continued feeding
Gender
Country or territory
Albania
Residence
Wealth index quintiles
Year
Total
Male
Female
Urban
Rural
Poorest
Second
Middle
Fourth
Richest
2000
51
44
62
52
50
55
41
51
48
54
Source
MICS 2000
Albania
2005
50
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2005
Algeria
2006
24
21
27
26
23
19
21
31
30
23
MICS 2006
Armenia
2000
48
47
49
44
52
36
64
28
56
62
DHS 2000
Armenia
2005
59
64
51
62
56
53
58
44
68
78
DHS 2005
Azerbaijan
2000
40
43
37
37
42
40
41
57
31
20
MICS 2000
Azerbaijan
2006
31
33
29
21
41
27
28
42
35
28
DHS 2006
Bangladesh
2004
52
50
55
58
51
41
50
52
57
76
DHS 2004
Bangladesh
2006
49
51
47
52
48
45
47
49
55
55
MICS 2006
Bangladesh
2007
68
71
65
70
68
57
73
70
73
70
DHS 2007
Belarus
2005
54
66
44
53
56
–
59
–
46
–
MICS 2005
Belize
2006
26
–
–
–
20
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006
Benin
2001
42
47
37
48
40
41
31
49
46
46
DHS 2001
Benin
2006
42
44
39
43
41
40
44
38
42
47
DHS 2006
Bolivia, Plurinational State of
2000
59
60
58
64
53
51
57
67
63
65
MICS 2000
Bolivia, Plurinational State of
2003
54
57
50
56
52
48
54
55
57
64
DHS 2003
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2000
23
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2000
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2005-2006
53
60
40
42
58
58
63
49
47
47
MICS 2005-2006
Botswana
2000
7
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2000
Burkina Faso
2003
47
49
45
56
46
44
41
46
53
56
DHS 2003
Burkina Faso
2006
42
41
44
52
41
38
41
45
38
53
MICS 2006
Burundi
2000
16
17
14
18
15
15
14
14
19
17
MICS 2000
Burundi
2005
23
24
23
27
23
22
19
20
30
27
MICS 2005
Cambodia
2005
50
51
48
45
51
56
51
52
43
37
DHS 2005
Cameroon
2000
32
35
30
36
31
34
35
27
24
46
MICS 2000
Cameroon
2004
43
42
45
47
41
38
40
46
47
60
DHS 2004
Cameroon
2006
22
20
24
29
18
16
19
24
25
45
MICS 2006
Central African Republic
2000
47
47
46
47
46
42
49
50
45
48
MICS 2000
Central African Republic
2006
47
46
48
52
43
39
44
41
54
55
MICS 2006
Chad
2000
44
46
43
40
48
44
40
45
54
34
MICS 2000
Chad
2004
27
28
27
39
25
10
29
24
30
38
DHS 2004
Colombia
2000
44
44
43
47
38
40
44
45
40
54
DHS 2000
Colombia
2005
39
41
36
40
37
37
41
34
40
47
DHS 2005
MICS 2000
Comoros
2000
31
32
30
48
27
31
29
–
–
–
Congo
2005
39
39
39
40
38
36
38
38
43
45
DHS 2005
Côte d’Ivoire
2000
34
35
33
36
33
31
32
36
37
35
MICS 2000
Côte d’Ivoire
2006
45
44
46
48
43
44
45
38
46
60
MICS 2006
Democratic Republic of the Congo
2001
17
17
15
18
16
17
17
19
15
15
MICS 2001
Democratic Republic of the Congo
2007
42
45
40
41
43
39
41
47
44
40
MICS 2007
Djibouti
2006
33
28
39
32
63
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006
Dominican Republic
2000
53
51
55
58
49
53
50
53
51
69
MICS 2000
Dominican Republic
2002
42
41
43
40
44
48
40
35
49
33
DHS 2002
Dominican Republic
2007
55
54
57
58
51
54
58
50
59
57
DHS 2007
Egypt
2000
29
30
27
22
32
32
28
33
23
24
DHS 2000
Egypt
2003
26
26
25
22
28
29
27
26
23
22
DHS 2003
Egypt
2005
27
27
28
23
29
32
28
28
23
21
DHS 2005
Egypt
2008
19
22
16
17
20
21
24
22
12
14
DHS 2008
Equatorial Guinea
2000
36
36
36
34
37
33
38
50
35
28
MICS 2000
Eritrea
2002
54
56
51
67
49
–
–
–
–
–
DHS 2002
Ethiopia
2005
15
15
15
28
14
10
10
17
15
30
DHS 2005
55
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
TABLE
3
Use of oral rehydration therapy with continued feeding, by background characteristics (continued)
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving oral rehydration therapy
(ORS packet or recommended homemade fluids or increased fluids) with continued feeding
Gender
Country or territory
Residence
Wealth index quintiles
Year
Total
Male
Female
Urban
Rural
Poorest
Second
Middle
Fourth
Richest
Gabon
2000
44
43
45
46
37
37
42
50
44
45
Source
DHS 2000
Gambia
2000
38
39
36
37
38
34
45
33
38
41
MICS 2000
Gambia
2006
38
39
37
32
40
34
37
43
41
33
MICS 2006
Georgia
2005
37
36
37
41
32
–
–
43
27
–
MICS 2005
Ghana
2003
40
41
39
47
37
35
34
46
35
63
DHS 2003
Ghana
2006
29
29
28
29
28
31
22
21
42
33
MICS 2006
Guatemala
1999
22
19
26
26
20
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 1999
Guinea
2003
44
43
44
39
45
40
48
49
39
38
MICS 2003
Guinea
2005
38
36
39
40
37
32
31
41
43
45
DHS 2005
Guinea-Bissau
2000
23
23
22
22
23
22
25
20
22
25
MICS 2000
Guinea-Bissau
2006
25
28
22
28
24
25
25
24
22
33
MICS 2006
Guyana
2000
40
36
44
35
41
43
50
33
42
18
MICS 2000
Guyana
2006-2007
28
27
30
–
23
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006-2007
Haiti
2000
41
40
41
51
36
34
38
35
47
56
DHS 2000
Haiti
2005-2006
43
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
DHS 2005
Honduras
2005-2006
49
50
48
51
49
45
49
51
53
52
DHS 2005-2006
India
2005-2006
33
34
31
38
31
29
29
31
35
45
DHS 2005-2006
Indonesia
2000
61
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2000
Indonesia
2002-2003
56
53
59
59
53
58
47
59
57
62
DHS 2002-2003
Indonesia
2007
54
56
52
52
56
55
56
58
53
48
DHS 2007
Iraq
2000
54
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2000
Iraq
2006
64
66
61
62
67
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006
Jamaica
2000
21
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2000
Jamaica
2005
39
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2005
Jordan
2002
44
43
44
44
43
–
–
–
–
–
DHS 2002
Jordan
2007
32
30
35
31
36
32
30
37
25
35
DHS 2007
Kazakhstan
2006
48
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006
MICS 2000
Kenya
2000
15
16
14
16
12
14
16
14
16
14
Kenya
2003
33
32
35
36
33
30
31
36
31
40
DHS 2003
Kyrgyzstan
2006
22
16
32
26
21
49
12
14
22
20
MICS 2006
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
2000
37
40
34
64
30
30
45
40
43
34
MICS 2000
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
2006
49
53
44
–
47
50
40
48
52
–
MICS 2006
Lesotho
2000
29
29
29
33
28
28
32
27
29
28
MICS 2000
Lesotho
2004
53
54
51
47
54
52
51
52
58
56
DHS 2004
Liberia
2007
47
48
46
50
46
40
41
52
53
56
DHS 2007
Madagascar
2000
47
46
48
55
45
44
42
49
53
64
MICS 2000
Madagascar
2003-2004
47
48
46
60
44
42
41
50
50
64
DHS 2003-2004
Malawi
2000
51
50
53
53
51
46
54
50
53
57
DHS 2000
Malawi
2004
54
57
51
68
52
47
53
51
61
63
DHS 2004
Malawi
2006
27
28
25
36
25
24
25
24
29
34
MICS 2006
Mali
2001
45
44
47
56
43
43
45
42
43
61
DHS 2001
Mali
2006
38
38
37
43
37
32
36
40
36
51
DHS 2006
2000-2001
9
9
9
8
10
10
14
8
7
5
DHS 2000-2001
Mauritania
Mauritania
2007
32
32
32
39
28
25
25
37
42
37
MICS 2007
Moldova
2000
52
47
56
45
58
42
68
50
64
32
MICS 2000
Moldova
2005
48
48
49
43
56
43
83
53
37
51
DHS 2005
Mongolia
2000
66
67
64
67
64
59
66
68
66
68
MICS 2000
Mongolia
2005
47
46
48
42
49
47
40
–
–
–
MICS 2005
Montenegro
2005
64
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2005
2003-2004
46
43
48
51
41
37
50
45
51
50
DHS 2003-2004
Morocco
56
Statistical annex
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving oral rehydration therapy
(ORS packet or recommended homemade fluids or increased fluids) with continued feeding
Gender
Country or territory
Residence
Wealth index quintiles
Year
Total
Male
Female
Urban
Rural
Poorest
Second
Middle
Fourth
Richest
Mozambique
2003
47
46
47
57
41
40
42
46
48
60
Source
DHS 2003
Mozambique
2008
47
46
48
51
45
41
45
47
49
55
MICS 2008
Myanmar
2000
48
48
49
70
44
39
42
59
56
63
MICS 2000
Myanmar
2003
65
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2003
Namibia
2000
39
42
36
48
34
31
32
41
42
51
DHS 2000
Namibia
2006-2007
48
48
48
52
45
32
55
48
61
47
DHS 2006-2007
Nepal
2006
37
41
32
39
37
25
36
34
43
57
DHS 2006
Nicaragua
2001
49
52
45
51
47
44
51
47
48
63
DHS 2001
Niger
2000
43
44
42
51
42
48
35
44
34
55
MICS 2000
Niger
2006
34
35
33
47
32
31
31
34
30
46
DHS 2006
Nigeria
2003
28
30
25
32
26
16
23
33
32
53
DHS 2003
Pakistan
2006-2007
37
36
37
38
36
32
36
34
39
45
DHS 2006-2007
Peru
2004-2006
60
61
59
66
53
52
56
60
68
75
DHS 2004-2006
Philippines
2003
76
75
77
81
70
70
77
80
77
83
DHS 2003
Rwanda
2000
20
20
21
31
19
18
17
19
21
29
DHS 2000
MICS 2000
Rwanda
2000
16
18
14
22
16
17
14
14
17
28
Rwanda
2005
24
24
23
30
23
21
18
23
29
31
DHS 2005
Sao Tome and Principe
2000
50
51
49
56
49
36
49
56
55
57
MICS 2000
Sao Tome and Principe
2006
63
62
64
64
62
66
61
61
63
64
MICS 2006
Senegal
2000
34
35
32
39
32
26
32
33
43
41
MICS 2000
Senegal
2005
43
44
40
44
42
40
43
41
46
44
DHS 2005
Serbia
2005
71
73
68
76
64
63
–
–
–
–
MICS 2005
Sierra Leone
2000
39
38
39
37
39
33
42
41
46
29
MICS 2000
Sierra Leone
2005
31
30
33
27
32
36
30
28
31
32
MICS 2005
Somalia
2006
7
7
6
9
6
5
4
7
9
11
MICS 2006
MICS 2000
Sudan (north)
2000
38
38
38
43
33
28
35
39
44
45
Sudan
2006
56
56
56
–
–
53
54
57
63
59
ONS 2006
Suriname
2000
43
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2000
Suriname
2006
28
25
30
26
29
23
31
37
28
31
MICS 2006
Swaziland
2000
25
25
23
26
23
17
33
23
23
30
MICS 2000
Swaziland
2006-2007
22
25
19
19
23
21
29
23
25
15
DHS 2006
Syrian Arab Republic
2006
34
36
32
33
35
37
33
33
31
38
MICS 2006
Tajikistan
2000
29
29
28
16
31
31
27
31
35
14
MICS 2000
Tajikistan
2005
22
23
21
28
20
20
19
13
35
26
MICS 2005
Thailand
2005-2006
46
44
49
42
48
43
56
44
47
45
MICS 2005-2006
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2005
45
26
57
61
23
20
61
–
–
–
MICS 2005
Togo
2000
25
24
27
27
25
23
30
22
21
35
MICS 2000
Togo
2006
22
18
26
22
22
19
21
20
24
27
MICS 2006
Tunisia
2006
62
68
55
61
63
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006
Turkmenistan
2006
25
32
17
31
22
27
17
16
30
36
MICS 2006
2000-2001
29
29
29
34
28
25
26
29
31
41
DHS 2000-2001
Uganda
Uganda
2006
39
41
38
48
39
39
35
39
43
44
DHS 2006
2004-2005
53
53
53
59
52
49
54
52
53
62
DHS 2004-2005
Uzbekistan
2000
33
39
25
30
34
36
45
30
35
19
MICS 2000
Uzbekistan
2006
28
24
–
–
31
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
2000
51
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2000
Viet Nam
2000
24
24
24
30
23
23
31
19
15
31
MICS 2000
Viet Nam
2006
65
63
67
–
65
–
–
–
–
–
MICS 2006
Yemen
2006
48
47
49
50
47
41
50
45
51
54
MICS 2006
Zambia
1999
65
63
67
64
66
57
74
58
64
68
MICS 1999
United Republic of Tanzania
57
Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
TABLE
3
Use of oral rehydration therapy with continued feeding, by background characteristics (continued)
Percentage of children under five with diarrhoea receiving oral rehydration therapy
(ORS packet or recommended homemade fluids or increased fluids) with continued feeding
Gender
Country or territory
Zambia
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Residence
Wealth index quintiles
Year
Total
Male
Female
Urban
Rural
Poorest
Second
Middle
Fourth
Richest
Source
2001-2002
48
51
45
51
47
43
47
48
52
54
DHS 2001-2002
2007
56
55
57
59
55
53
57
51
57
65
DHS 2007
2005-2006
47
48
46
59
43
39
45
51
48
61
DHS 2005-2006
Source:
Data are from the UNICEF global diarrhoea databases, which include survey data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and other national
surveys (ONS).
Note that these data do not appear in most final DHS reports. Instead, data from these surveys have been re-analysed to conform to the definition of this indicator.
The complete diarrhoea treatment databases (including time series, disparities and detailed source information for other treatment indicators) are available at: www.childinfo.org.
Data are as of 15 August 2009.
58
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D
iarrhoea remains the second most common cause of death among
children under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about
1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhoea. It kills more young
children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
This report puts forward a new, 7-point plan for comprehensive diarrhoea
control. The plan includes a treatment package to significantly reduce child
deaths due to diarrhoea, and a prevention package to make a lasting reduction
in the diarrhoea burden for years to come. But intensified efforts on both
fronts must begin right away.
Did you know?
Oral rehydration therapy and continued feeding is a life-saving treatment, which only 39
per cent of children with diarrhoea in developing countries receive. Limited data show little progress since 2000.
Zinc tablets are still largely unavailable in most developing countries, although their effectiveness in reducing
the severity and duration of diarrhoea episodes is well known.
Immunization against rotavirus, which results in an estimated 40 per cent of hospital admissions
due to diarrhoea among children under five, is urgently needed worldwide, especially in Africa and Asia.
Safe water, adequate sanitation and proper hygiene are too often forgotten foundations of
good health. Handwashing with soap alone could potentially reduce the number of diarrhoea cases by over 40 per cent.
Breastfeeding is critical to both the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea. Infants who are exclusively
breastfed for the first six months of life and continue to be breastfed until two years of age and beyond develop
fewer infections and have less severe illnesses, including diarrhoea.
Vitamin A supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce child deaths, mostly from
diarrhoea and measles.
United Nations Children’s Fund
3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
ISBN: 978-92-806-4462-3 (UNICEF)
ISBN: 978-92-4-159841-5 (NLM classification: WS 312) (WHO)
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