Protecting the world’s most vulnerable children from a deadly duo
They’re preventable and treatable, yet diarrheal disease and pneumonia kill more children under age five than any other diseases. The most susceptible children live in areas with poor sanitary conditions, unsafe drinking water, and limited access to lifesaving prevention and treatment. But thanks to PATH, health workers in even the most rural areas are equipped with simple yet powerful tools for recognizing, preventing, and treating these two threats.
PATH tackles the deadly duo by emphasizing overlapping protection, scaling up proven methods, and developing innovative new tools to fill deadly gaps. For example, to prevent both diseases we’re making water safer; improving sanitation; and promoting good hygiene, nutrition, and exclusive breastfeeding. Through our advocacy efforts, we’re also ensuring that diarrhea and pneumonia remain global and country-level health priorities.
Diarrheal disease: greater access to better tools
For diarrhea, we’re improving access to and encouraging the use of proven solutions, like zinc and oral rehydration solution. We’re advancing technologies to quickly diagnose the cause of illness and vaccines to protect against infections. Through research to improve current therapies and develop new interventions, we aim to help sick children have a better chance at recovery.
Pneumonia: easier diagnosis, better treatment, effective vaccines
Pneumonia is particularly hard to identify, so PATH is empowering community health workers to diagnose and treat pneumonia with tools designed for their specific needs. We advocate for the implementation of comprehensive treatment strategies that will bring lifesaving amoxicillin dispersible tablets and oxygen therapy within reach of all children. We’re also supporting the development and delivery of affordable vaccines to protect against several important causes of pneumonia—and to ensure accessibility for even the most vulnerable children.
No child needs to die of diarrhea or pneumonia. Our goal is to help children in low-resource settings get the same world-class protection that most children in wealthier countries get. It is protection that every child deserves.
Photo: PATH/Heng Chivoan.