Integrating prevention and treatment tools to fight diarrhea

| Updated: Jul 28, 2017 20:54 IST

New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI-NewsVoir): PATH's Defeat Diarrheal Disease Initiative (DefeatDD) convened thought leaders in New Delhi on July 26, at an event titled, "Defeating diarrhea: integration is the solution," to deliberate on child health in India and the challenges that India faces in tackling diarrhea. "For integration to become the solution to defeat diarrheal disease, it is critical that people think differently and join the movement," said attendee Dr. N. K. Ganguly, advisor for the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute and former director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research. He added that appropriate emphasis on creating better interventions, both preventive and curative, is critical. The event launched a series of short films to call greater attention to the lifelong impactof repeated diarrheal illness in children and its impact on their families and communities in India. The series showcases the momentum and progress in India through the work of organizations such as Save the Children (the Stop Diarrhea Initiative), Population Services International, the Aga Khan Development Network, WaterAid, Clinton Health Access Initiative and Sesame Workshop, among others, to inspire advocates nationally and globally. During a panel discussion: "Integrated approaches to tackle diarrhea," moderated by PATH India Country Program leader Neeraj Jain, participants highlighted the need to work together and prioritize diarrheal disease in India. Dr. Paul P. Francis of the World Health Organization's India country office focusedhis comments on communities and subdistricts. He underscored the need to strengthen the health system and ensure interventions can be scaled. Dr. O. P. Singh of Save the Children's Stop Diarrhea Initiative talked about sustaining the results of their efforts that could potentially achieve a 13 percent reduction in diarrheal disease in the next four years. "A significant proportion of diarrheal disease can be prevented through safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. It's about spreading awareness about cleanliness," said Tinni Sahwney, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation, adding that nutrition was also an important component to check diarrheal diseases. In the open discussion that followed, panelists discussed the challenges of scaling up pilot integrated interventions as well as ensuring access to zinc when a child has diarrheal episodes. Collaborating partners and others from UNICEF, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council World, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the International Rescue Committee, members of the India Sanitation Coalition, Global Health Strategies, John Snow, Inc., the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wash Institute attended the meeting. Diarrheal disease is the second leading killer disease of children under age five around the world. This crisis is especially critical where safe water, sanitation and access to urgent medical care are limited. When it doesn't kill, repeated bouts of diarrheal illness can lead to irreversible physical and cognitive stunting, a burden that contributes to keeping families locked in a cycle of poverty and limiting children's ability to reach their full potential. PATH is the leader in global health innovation. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accelerate innovation across five platforms - vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices and system and service innovations - that harness our entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise and passion for health equity. By mobilizing partners around the world, we take innovation to scale, working alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs. Together, we deliver measurable results that disrupt the cycle of poor health. (ANI-NewsVoir)