For many years, Chief physician Birger Forsberg has been working with international health issues, and has a particular interest in diarrhoea diseases children in low and middle-income countries. Although diarrhoea-related death amongst children has declined in the past thirty years, diarrhoea is still thought to be the cause of several million child deaths every year.
“Research shows that around 1.5 million children suffering from diarrhoea can be saved every year with the right treatment,” says Dr Forsberg.
Back in the 1980s the WHO started a special programme to reduce diarrhoea-related child mortality. The organisation estimated that about two thirds of all deaths from diarrhoeal diseases were attributable to violent, watery diarrhoea and acute dehydration. It therefore promoted the greater use of rehydration solutions with sugar and salt additives and increased fluid intake. The recommendations were incorporated in most countries’ national health programmes and active information campaigns were run through the WHO, UNICEF and national authorities. The use of the recommended treatments (rehydration or increased fluid intake) has increased but not as much as desired.
"Even now, in the first decade of the 21st century, my thesis documents that more than 200 million children suffering from diarrhoea may still be deprived of this treatment", says Dr Forsberg. “In the 1970s, when rehydration solutions had their medical breakthrough as a treatment for diarrhoea, no one thought that it would be so difficult to spread its use.”
In his thesis, Dr Forsberg discusses several possible reasons for the lack of adequate and effective adoption and implementation of diarrhoea management. Perhaps the information has not reached out to all households, or perhaps conflicting messages from health providers confuse users. It is also conceivable that poor and underprivileged families are unable to take care of the sick child, even if they know how to.
“Giving rehydration solution to a child with serious diarrhoea is a 24-hour commitment in the most acute phases, something which might have to make way for other priorities in households with scant resources,” says Dr Forsberg. “We also have to realise that childhood diarrhoea in many areas is just as common as a cold amongst children in Sweden. This may not keep caretakers on alert when their children contract diarrhoea.”
“It’s obvious to us that much still need to be done to improve the care of children with diarrhoea and to reduce the number of child deaths from diarrhoeal diseases,” he concludes.
Katarina Sternudd | alfa
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences