Diarrhea continues to be a leading cause of child death

Discovery of intestinal sodium-glucose transport was the basis for development of oral rehydration solution, and was hailed as potentially the most important medical advance of the 20th century.

Before widespread use of oral rehydration solution, treatment for diarrhoea was restricted to intravenous fluid replacement, for which patients had to go to a health-care facility to access appropriate equipment.

However, use of oral rehydration solution has stagnated, despite being effective, inexpensive, and widely available. Thus, diarrhoea continues to be a leading cause of child death with consistent mortality rates during the past 5 years.

An improved oral rehydration formulation, zinc supplementation, and rotavirus vaccines should be implemented to revitalise efforts to reduce diarrhoea mortality worldwide.

Progress and barriers for the control of diarrhoeal disease. Prof Mathuram Santosham MD a , Aruna Chandran MD a, Sean Fitzwater MHS a, Christa Fischer-Walker MD a, Prof Abdullah H Baqui DrPH a, Prof Robert Black MD. The Lancet, Volume 376, Issue 9734, Pages 63 - 67, 3
July 2010.
Image source: Colon (anatomy), Wikipedia, public domain.

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