Diarrhoea is one of the most common childhood illnesses, in both developing and developed countries. While the disease is rarely a cause of death in developed countries, it is estimated that approximately 1.6 million children die each year from diarrhoea in the developing world. The highest mortality rate occurs during the first year of life. Since almost all diarrhoea can be treated with simple, prompt case management, including oral rehydration therapy, almost all deaths could be prevented if the world’s poor had access to basic health services. The principal reason for death from diarrhoea is thus limited access to health care.
Griffiths, U.; Rheingans, R.; Walker, D. Guidelines for estimating the economic burden of diarrhoeal disease with focus on assessing the impact of rotavirus diarrhoea. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (2005) vi + 56 pp. [WHO/IVB/05.10]