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  • 18 November, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Asian Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition Conference

Asian Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition Conference

Union Minister recently spoke at the 16th Asian Conference on Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition (ASCODD) in Kolkata. Delegates from India and other South East Asian countries, African countries, the United States, and Europe participated virtually in the conference.

What are the Conference's Key Highlights?

  • The theme of the ASCODD was "Community participation in the prevention and control of cholera, typhoid, and other enteric diseases in low and middle-income countries: beyond the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic."

What is Diarrhoeal Disease?

  • Diarrhoea is defined as having three or more loose or liquid stools per day (or more frequent passage than is normal for the individual).
  • Dehydration is the most serious threat posed by diarrhoea.
  • Water and electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, and bicarbonate) are lost during a diarrhoeal episode through liquid stools, vomit, sweat, urine, and breathing.
  • When these losses are not replaced, dehydration occurs.
  • Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of five, according to statistics.
  • Diarrhoea kills approximately 525,000 children under the age of five each year.
  • Every year, nearly 1.7 billion children worldwide suffer from diarrhoea.
  • Acute Watery Diarrhoea - lasts for several hours or days and includes cholera;
  • Acute Bloody Diarrhea, also known as dysentery; and
  • Diarrhoea that lasts 14 days or longer: Persistent Diarrhoea


  • Diarrhoea can be caused by bacterial infections like cholera and typhoid, as well as viral and parasitic organisms, the majority of which are spread by faeces-contaminated water.
  • Malnutrition: Children who die from diarrhoea frequently have underlying malnutrition, making them more susceptible to diarrhoea.
  • Contaminated Food and Water: Human faeces contamination, such as that from sewage, septic tanks, and latrines, is of particular concern. Microorganisms that cause diarrhoea can also be found in animal faeces.

Measures to prevent:

  • Access to safe drinking water; use of improved sanitation; soapy hand washing, Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life; good personal and food hygiene; infection prevention education; and rotavirus vaccination can prevent diarrhoea.


  • Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) Rehydration: ORS is a combination of pure water, salt, and sugar. Each treatment costs only a few cents. The water and electrolytes lost in the faeces are replaced by ORS, which is absorbed in the small intestine.
  • Zinc Supplements: Zinc supplements are associated with a 30% reduction in stool volume and a 25% reduction in diarrhoea episode duration.
  • Intravenous fluid rehydration: This is done in cases of severe dehydration or shock.
  • Nutrient-rich Foods: The vicious circle of malnutrition and diarrhoea can be broken by continuing to give nutrient-rich foods - including breast milk - during an episode and by giving children a nutritious diet - including exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life - when they are well.
  • Consultation with a Medical Professional: For the treatment of persistent diarrhoea, blood in the stool, or signs of dehydration.

What are India's Related Initiatives?

  • IDCF (Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight): Since 2014, ICDF has been observed during the pre-monsoon/monsoon season to raise awareness about the use of ORS and zinc in diarrhoea, with the goal of achieving "zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea."
  • IAPPD (Integrated Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea): In 2014, India launched the IAPPD (Integrated Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea) to undertake collaborative efforts to prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia-related under-five deaths.
  • UIP (Universal Immunization Program): It was introduced by the government in 1985 and protects children and pregnant women from 12 vaccine-preventable diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea.
  • Social Awareness and Action to Successfully Neutralize Pneumonia (SAANS) Campaign: It aims to reduce child mortality due to pneumonia, which accounts for approximately 15% of all deaths in children under the age of five each year.

Source: PIB

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