Factors associated with the decline in under-five diarrhea mortality in India: A LiST analysis

Tarun Shankar Choudhary, Bireshwar Sinha, Ajay Khera, Nita Bhandari, Yue Chu, Bianca Jackson, Neff Walker, Robert E. Black, Michael Merson, Maharaj Kishan Bhan

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Background India has achieved 86% reduction in the number of under-five diarrheal deaths from 1980 to 2015. Nonetheless diarrhea is still among the leading causes of under-five deaths. The aim of this analysis was to study the contribution of factors that led to decline in diarrheal deaths in the country and the effect of scaling up of intervention packages to address the remaining diarrheal deaths. Methods We assessed the attribution of different factors and intervention packages such as direct diarrhea case management interventions, nutritional factors and WASH interventions which contributed to diarrhea specific under-five mortality reduction (DSMR) during 1980 to 2015 using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST). The potential impact of scaling up different packages of interventions to achieve universal coverage levels by year 2030 on reducing the number of remaining diarrheal deaths were estimated. Results The major factors associated with DSMR reduction in under-fives during 1980 to 2015, were increase in ORS use, reduction in stunting prevalence, improved sanitation, changes in age appropriate breastfeeding practices, increase in the vitamin-A supplementation and persistent diarrhea treatment. ORS use and reduction in stunting were the two key interventions, each accounting for around 32% of the lives saved during this period. Scaling up the direct diarrhea case management interventions from the current coverage levels in 2015 to achieve universal coverage levels by 2030 can save around 82 000 additional lives. If the universal targets for nutritional factors and WASH interventions can be achieved, an additional 23 675 lives can potentially be saved. Conclusions While it is crucial to improve the coverage and equity in ORS use, an integrated approach to promote nutrition, WASH and direct diarrhea interventions is likely to yield the highest impact on reducing the remaining diarrheal deaths in under-five children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020804
JournalJournal of Global Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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