Each year, 30 million preschool-aged children still get sick with diarrhea and 330,000 die. Most diarrheal illness and death is concentrated in a few high-risk areas, including parts of Benin, Lesotho, Mali, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Targeting preventive and therapeutic interventions in areas of risk could markedly reduce morbidity and mortality.
Using active surveillance, researchers enrolled 717 infants with intussusception from sub-Saharan Africa. The risk of intussusception was no higher in those who received the monovalent rotavirus vaccine than in non-immunized infants.
Approximately 200,000 preschool-aged children in communities in Malawi, Niger, and Tanzania were treated twice yearly with either azithromycin or placebo. Communities in which azithromycin was provided had 13.5% less all-cause mortality than did placebo-treated communities. In children 1 to 5 months of age, the mortality was 25% lower with azithromycin than with placebo.
Malaria mortality in Africa has decreased by approximately 57% during the past 15 years, but some areas still have low level use of bed nets, low coverage with antimalarial medication, and higher death rates due to malaria. At the same time, anti-malarial measures are still important for individuals traveling to endemic areas.