It’s Not a Joke

“Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5. It kills more children than malaria, measles, and AIDS combined.”

Man laughing in front of a fence

Photo from Pixabay

The Problem 

Diarrhea has become sort a joke in the United States of America today. We call it the squirts, the Hershey squirts, the runs. We fail to realize that 2,195 children die a day from diarrhea-that’s like like losing nearly 32 school buses full of children each day. (CDC) 1 in 9 child deaths are due to diarrhea. There are 801,000 child deaths from diarrhea every year. Should I go on. I think you get the point: diarrhea is not a joke.




Pie chart of the causes of death of children in 2012

Photo from CDC- Cause of specific deaths among children under five years of age, 2012

According to the CDC, “88% of diarrhea-associated deaths are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and insufficient hygiene.” Diarrheal germs can be spread through the feces of one person to the mouth of another. These germs are often spread through contaminated objects and environments. Things can be contaminated with the diarrheal germs when people defecate into nearby rivers and water bodies and when there is lack of proper sanitation.

Preventing Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a preventable disease caused by lack of sanitation. Unlike cancer, that we have yet to find a cure for, we can solve diarrhea. We can save thousands of children just by introducing toilets into undeveloped countries. To prevent diarrhea, people need an adequate place for waste disposal and need to learn necessary hygiene principles.