Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diarrhoea treatment fails to reach the poorest children

06.04.2009
Acute dehydration caused by diarrhoea is one of the most common causes of death amongst children in low and middle-income countries.

A new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet now shows that almost half a billion cases of child diarrhoea a year could be treated if they all received treatment equal to the best standards in their home countries.

"It's unacceptable that so many children risk death when we know that there's simple - and cheap -fluid replacement treatment available", says Dr Birger Forsberg, one of the researchers behind the study.

The study was based on the results of 93 different household surveys in 55 low and middle-income countries between 1990 and 2005. The researchers made particularly close study of data on the incidence and treatment of diarrhoea in children up to the age of five, and socioeconomic differences. One of their findings was that the treatment of diarrhoea with fluid replacement - oral rehydration - was 30 per cent more common in the wealthiest 20 per cent of households than it was in the poorest. If all households had had the same standards as this top 20th percentile, an additional 481 million disease episodes could have been treated in the countries concerned.

Not unsurprisingly, differences in standard of living between the households in the 55 countries also affect children's health. Amongst the poorest 20 per cent of households studied, diarrhoea diseases were 1.5 times more common than amongst the wealthiest. If all households had had the same standard as the wealthier ones, the number of diarrhoea cases would have been almost 23 per cent lower. This, say the researchers, is equivalent to an annual 511 million cases of diarrhoea in children.

It is estimated that some 1.8 million children die from diarrhoea diseases every year, mainly through the loss of fluids and the resulting dehydration. But diarrhoea also contributes heavily to malnourishment in children and an impaired quality of life for families with children who regularly suffer the disease. Fluid replacement for children costs less then 1 Euro per treatment.

"In the long run, the very poorest children are going to have to gain access to clean water and better sanitation", says Dr Forsberg. "But much can be done in the short term through the greater distribution and use of oral rehydration solutions."

Publication: "Socioeconomic inequalities in the prevalence and management of childhood

diarrhoea: potential health gains to be achieved", Birger Forsberg, Davidson Gwatkin, Göran Tomson, Peter Allebeck & Max G. Petzold, The Open Infectious Diseases Journal, April 2009; vol 3; p 44-49. The authors work at Karolinska Institutet, the World Bank and the Nordic School of Public Health.

For further information, contact:

Dr Birger Forsberg
Tel: +46 (0)70 737 41 73
Email: Birger.Forsberg@ki.se
Press Officer Katarina Sternudd
Tel: +46 (0)8-524 38 95
Email: katarina.sternudd@ki.se
Karolinska Institutet is one of the leading medical universities in Europe. Through research, education and information, Karolinska Institutet contributes to improving human health. Each year, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Katarina Sternudd | idw
Further information:
http://ki.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

nachricht A new approach to high insulin levels
18.09.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>