New partnership combats diarrhea, pneumonia

Governments, health organizations and the private sector agreed Thursday (June 14) to work together to beat childhood diarrhea and pneumonia, two of the world’s leading killers of children under 5.

The new partnership, which seeks to save 2 million children every year, was announced on the first day of the Child Survival: Call to Action forum, held in Washington, D.C. Some of the commitments partners made in the declaration to scale up treatment of diarrhea and pneumonia include:

  • “Direct” financial or technical resources to scale up use of oral rehydration salts, zinc and amoxicillin.

  • Support campaigns to increase treatment demand and awareness.

  • Support country health plans.

  • Support the creation of public-private partnerships in high-burden countries.

  • Track progress.

The Zinc Alliance for Child Health, a partnership that includes Teck Resources Ltd., the Micronutrient Initiative and the Canadian International Development Agency, pledged $15 million to support high-burden countries’ health plans that aim to scale up the use of zinc and oral rehydration salts.

Global marketing communications company McCann Health, meanwhile, pledged $5 million in support of campaigns that will help increase awareness and demand for oral rehydration salts and zinc. This will come in the form of “in-kind” resources and technical assistance.

Also launched at the two-day forum is Survive and Thrive, a global alliance that seeks to strengthen the skills of health professionals in low and middle-income countries via knowledge sharing with senior volunteer members from U.S. and international professional associations.

The alliance also plans to establish an internship program for new health professional graduates called Global Health Fellows. Interns will have a chance to work in low-resource settings together with other health professionals to “nurture a passion for global health,” according to a press release from Survive and Thrive.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has already committed an initial $1.5 million for the three-year partnership. Johnson & Johnson and Laerdal Global Health, meanwhile, have each committed $1 million.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.