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Diarrheal disease remains a major killer of children in the developing world. With research commissioned by PATH, FSG explored the landscape of diarrheal disease advocacy to identify gaps, create a shared sense of urgency, and inform a path forward for the diarrheal disease field and the broader global health community.

Top Takeaways

  1. While diarrheal disease is the second leading killer of children under the age of 5, accounting for approximately 1.6 million deaths annually, policymakers do not prioritize diarrheal disease interventions.
  2. The success of programs addressing diarrheal disease in the 1980's coupled with increased attention to other diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria has resulted in a misperception that the problem of diarrheal disease has been solved.
  3. Aligning with the shift in the global health community from a vertical, disease focused perspective to a horizontal, systems-level approach, diarrheal disease stakeholders recommend that efforts to increase funding and attention be framed within the context of child survival and the top killers of children.
There is an overwhelming consensus that attention and momentum around diarrheal disease have stalled, and that increased advocacy is critical for re-prioritizing the issue.