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The effect of a national control of diarrheal diseases program on mortality: The case of Egypt

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  • Miller, Peter
  • Hirschhorn, Norbert

Abstract

The National Control of Diarrheal Diseases Project (NCDDP) of Egypt began in 1981, became fully operational nation-wide by 1984, and concluded in 1991. The project was designed as a campaign to lower mortality from diarrheal disease in children under five by at least 25% within five years. The principal strategy employed was to improve case-management of diarrhea through rehydration and better feeding: through assured production and distribution of oral rehydration salts, education of families through mass media and health workers through training programs, and creation of rehydration corners throughout the established primary health care and hospital network. A detailed plan for evaluation and research was designed at the start of the project. By its own terms, the NCDDP appears to have succeeded in improving case management; by several local and national mortality surveys, overall infant and childhood mortality fell by at least one-third with the majority proportion in diarrheal deaths. The declines coincided with the peak of NCDDP activities and results in improved case-management. The detailed analyses of this monograph seek to demonstrate that: (a) the mortality decline and the diarrheal mortality decline in particular were actual events; (b) that case-management improved with plausible sufficiency to account for most of the diarrheal mortality reduction; and (c) that changes in other proximate determinants to lowered mortality, such as host resistance or diarrheal incidence, do not plausibly account for the magnitude of the reductions seen. Data are also presented on general socio-economic changes in the decade of the Project. We conclude that improvements in primary care delivery and the use of mass media would have been facilitating factors to NCDDP efforts, while the overall deterioration of economic status would have tended to reduce the benefits. The monograph details the strengths and weaknesses of the available data, and also makes recommendations for sustained efforts in the control of diarrheal diseases.

Suggested Citation

  • Miller, Peter & Hirschhorn, Norbert, 1995. "The effect of a national control of diarrheal diseases program on mortality: The case of Egypt," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1-30, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:40:y:1995:i:10:p:s1-s30
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    1. Sastry, Narayan & Burgard, Sarah, 2005. "The prevalence of diarrheal disease among Brazilian children: trends and differentials from 1986 to 1996," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 923-935, March.
    2. Alix Peterson Zwane & Michael Kremer, 2007. "What Works in Fighting Diarrheal Diseases in Developing Countries? A Critical Review," CID Working Papers 140, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    3. Michael Kremer & Alix Peterson Zwane, 2007. "Cost-Effective Prevention of Diarrheal Diseases: A Critical Review," Working Papers 117, Center for Global Development.
    4. Cash, Richard A. & Potter, James R., 2014. "Effectiveness of international aid for diarrheal disease control and potential for future impact," WIDER Working Paper Series 016, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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