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
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy