EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM
- People of all ages can get diarrhea.
- Diarrheal diseases are the single greatest cause of illness and death all over the world. In 1993, approximately 3.2 million children below 5 years died from diarrhea.
- In India, diarrheal disease is a major public health problem among children below age of 5 years. In health institutions, up to 33% of total children admission are due to diarrheal illness and up to 17% deaths in hospitalized children are diarrhea related.
- On an average, a child below 3 years of age experience 3 episodes of diarrhea every year and an adult experience 1 episode per year.
Diarrhea is also an important cause of malnutrition (undernourishment) in children.