ALSO READWadhwani Foundation intensifies focus on India, South-East Asia, Latin America and East |Afric Panasonic eyes Bangladesh, Africa to raise market share Mukherjee to inaugurate international convention on homoeopathy tomorrow Kenya eyes 1 lakh visitors from India in 2018 Bangladesh to host first Afghan ODI series
A new study today said the number of childhood diarrhoea cases has been "substantially underestimated" and it may be nearly twice as high as the previous analysis in seven countries of Asia and Africa, including India, where it kills 13 children under the age of 5 every hour.
"The number of cases of childhood diarrhoea attributable to pathogens like bacteria, parasites, viruses or other infections have been substantially underestimated and may be nearly twice as high as previous analysis suggests.
"The analysis of over 10,000 samples from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, The Gambia, Kenya, Mali and Mozambique finds that Shigella and rotavirus were the most common infections among children aged under five, followed by adenovirus, enterotoxin-producing E coli (ETEC), Cryptosporidium, and Campylobacter," a new research published in The Lancet said.
The findings come from a re-analysis of samples from the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS).
Previous estimates of the infectious causes of diarrhoea were based on a variety of different detection methods, but this study, for the first time, uses a molecular diagnostic testing method called quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to test for 32 pathogens.
Researchers re-analysed stool samples from 10,608 children with and without diarrhoea obtained from regions in seven countries in Asia (Bangladesh, India and Pakistan) and Africa (The Gambia, Kenya, Mali, and Mozambique).
"The original GEMS study published in 2013 estimated that 51.5 per cent of childhood diarrhoea cases could be attributed to pathogens but the new re-analysis finds the proportion is much higher at 89.3 per cent.
"The original study identified four major pathogens - rotavirus, shigella spp, cryptosporidium spp and heat-stable enterotoxin-producing E coli (ST-ETEC). This re-analysis reaffirmed these four and added two others - adenovirus 40/41 and campylobacter jejuni/coli.
"Together, these six pathogens accounted for 77.8 per cent of all diarrhoea. Among the children who had a diarrhoea- causing pathogen, about half had more than one infection, highlighting the challenges of treating multiple infections," the study said.
According to Health Ministry figures, in India, 1.2 lakh children under the age of five succumb to diarrhoea every year. This translates to 328 diarrhoeal deaths every day and 13 every hour.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)