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Affordability Of Diarrhea Treatment Offers Hope For Improving Child Survival

In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, Doug Horswill, senior vice president of the Canadian resource company Teck, and Venkatesh Mannar, president of the Micronutrient Initiative, which works to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the world’s most vulnerable populations, examine global efforts to end child deaths from diarrhea, a campaign they say “many are calling the next revolution in child survival.” “Diarrhea kills up to one million children every year,” they write, adding, “It is a terrible waste of life and untapped potential, made even more terrible by the fact that it costs less than a dollar to treat” with oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements.

“To help turn these statistics around, Teck and the Micronutrient Initiative have joined forces with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in a $20-million public-private sector partnership called the Zinc Alliance for Child Health (ZACH),” they continue, adding, “The Micronutrient Initiative provides the know-how to roll out and scale up programs and Teck and CIDA provide financial support.” Horswill and Mannar note that they traveled to Senegal last month as part of the ZACH project, discuss the Child Survival Call to Action event, held in Washington, D.C., last week, and conclude, “In Washington, we delivered the message that we learned in Senegal during our visit to the front lines. … It is a message of hope, opportunity and impact — that a treatment that costs as little as 50 cents can be the spark that ignites the next revolution in child survival” (6/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.