OneWorld Health Identifies 40 Drug Targets For Diarrhea Treatment; New Reports Highlight Need For Resources To Combat Diarrhea
The Institute for OneWorld Health, a nonprofit drug development group, is expected to announce on Wednesday that it has identified 40 targets for research that could lead to the development of treatments to reduce fluid loss and prevent death by dehydration from diarrhea, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The targets were identified from Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche's library of more than 780,000 molecules. The OneWorld Health project is funded by a $46 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/13).
OneWorld Health is a member of a coalition of more than 75 organizations that came together on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to highlight the need for clean water, improved sanitation and other strategies aimed at preventing deaths caused by diarrheal diseases. PATH and WaterAid America convened the forum (OneWorld Health release/Business Wire, 5/13).
Both organizations released reports, which say that "[i]nterest in reducing the harm caused by diarrheal diseases had waned among the global health and aid communities," Inter Press Service reports. Although diarrhea and related health issues are the second leading cause of mortality in children younger than age five, both reports found that diarrhea prevention resources have declined and should become a priority again, IPS reports.
The WaterAid report found that diarrheal disease caused by poor sanitation kills more children than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined (Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, 5/12). The report focuses on the need for better sanitation and clean water.
PATH's report, "Diarrheal Disease: Solutions to Defeat a Global Killer," addresses the need for more resources to prevent and treat diarrhea. The report highlights the economic impact of addressing diarrhea, IPS reports. It points to a sub-Saharan Africa where 12% of health budgets are allocated to the treatment of water-borne diseases. In addition, the report says that the World Bank estimates that diarrhea and associated diseases "cost low-income governments up to 9% of their annual gross domestic products" (IPS, 5/12).
Grist.org published an article that examines the content of the reports (Ferguson, Grist.org, 5/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.