Diarrhea is still one of the most serious causes of death and disability worldwide. Despite significant improvements in prevention and treatment efforts over the past few decades, it remains the second biggest killer of children in the world.
Zinc helps children recover from diarrhea more quickly and the ORS helps replenish lost fluids. This can mean less time away from work for parents during a crucial income-earning time and less time missed at school for children.
A few weeks ago we travelled together to Senegal in West Africa to visit rural health posts and to meet with community leaders, health workers and mothers who will be on the front lines of what many are calling the next revolution in child survival.
Nigeria is home to one out of every eight child deaths worldwide, and the Decade of Vaccines Economics projects 90 percent vaccine coverage can save 600,000 lives and $17 billion in Nigeria over the next 10 years.
In the United States, we can practically start planning our kids' birthdays from the day they come home from the hospital; deaths in childhood are quite rare. In Ghana, though, you can't take a child's fifth birthday for granted.
Likewise, as one of only three remaining countries in the world with endemic polio transmission, they have recently ramped up efforts to eradicate polio from the country, and thereby, help rid it from the entire world.
I fear this will become a major disaster. Haitians have no natural immunity to cholera. The incubation period of up to five days lets seemingly healthy but actually infected people travel and spread the disease. This could involve the entire country. I'm praying for a miracle.
Sanitation is a basic need that could enable a new destiny for billions of people and it is time to apply the same degree of innovation and ingenuity to this problem that has been brought to bear in other fields.