What You Need To Know About Diarrhea Among Filipino Children


Did you know that diarrhea is the second leading cause of death worldwide in children under the age of five? The first is pneumonia. In the Philippines, 14 children die of diarrhea every day before they reach five years old.

According to Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), rotavirus is the number one cause of severe, dehydrating diarrhea. This virus is highly contagious and can spread via fecal-oral route. It is readily transmitted from contaminated surfaces, such as when infants and young children frequently put their hands and toys in their mouths. This virus has sent millions of infants and children to hospital and clinics.

Studies conducted has revealed that a child who had severe, dehydrating diarrhea may suffer from its long-term effects such as fitness impairment and loss of IQ by up to 10 points.

GSK, one of the world's science-led healthcare companies, in partnership with PFV, has officially launched the "Game On: Kontra Diarrhea" campaign in order to combat the threat of diarrhea.

The Game On: Kontra Diarrhea Caravan will be in Agusan on October 17. Agusan has shown impressive results on the effectivity of vaccination against rotavirus of babies before they reached 6 months old. The caravan will also be in Iloilo on October 23, Manila on October 25, and finally in Dagupan on November 5. These three locations have high rates of diarrhea-related health issues among children.

The campaign aims to emphasize the seriousness of the disease and teach mothers all over the Philippines the holistic approach to its prevention, which include breastfeeding, improvement of hygiene and clean water supply, hand washing, and vaccination.

Vaccinating a child against rotavirus has been considered generally safe and effective based on the data from countries who have implemented national rotavirus vaccination programs in line with the WHO recommendation.

To know more about childhood diarrhea and how to prevent it, consult your doctor or visit your community health worker.