Setting Research Priorities to Reduce Mortality and Morbidity of Childhood Diarrhoeal Disease in the Next 15 Years

June 25, 2013 · 1 comment

Setting Research Priorities to Reduce Mortality and Morbidity of Childhood Diarrhoeal Disease in the Next 15 Years. PLoS Med, May 2013.

Kerri Wazny, et al.


The Disease Burden, Aetiology and Distribution team prioritized developing a clear understanding of the prevalence and distribution and risk factors of diarrhoea globally. Understanding long-term child development outcomes was a priority in the Nutrition and Long-Term Outcomes team, which emphasized a need for education for diarrhoea prevention and in promoting child development.

The Preventive Nutrition Strategies team highlighted the importance of community involvement and education regarding the relationship between ideal nutrition strategies and prevention of diarrhoea. The Emerging Interventions team also prioritised research questions regarding the importance of nutritional factors in diarrhoeal disease.

Both the Case Management team and the Monitoring and Evaluation team emphasized research priorities around ORS and zinc use, including determinants of use, factors that drive care-seeking behaviour, delivery strategies, and social marketing. The Monitoring and Evaluation team also prioritized finding factors that have led to decline in ORS use as well as defining attributes of successful and sustainable childhood diarrhoea programs.

In addition to placing an emphasis on ORS and zinc, the Other Innovations team’s highly ranked questions included research questions involving feeding practices during diarrhoea and research questions regarding hand washing and sanitation. The WASH Interventions team also prioritized hand washing, highlighting the importance of better understanding the relative contribution of different transmission routes to disease burden. The team identified a need to study the effectiveness of programs to improve sanitation, water supply and hygiene behaviour in the home and in schools, and to better understand the transmission routes of diarrhoea pathogens through the environment.

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