The global and local context of enteric and respiratory infections

Infections of the gut and respiratory system are the biggest killers of children worldwide.

Globally, enteric diseases (diseases affecting the gut) and respiratory infections are the leading causes of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition, and impaired growth and cognitive development in children, as well as in older age groups. 

In 2010, there were an estimated 1.7 billion episodes
 of diarrhoea and 120 million episodes of pneumonia in children less than five years of age, collectively causing more than 2 million deaths. Two-thirds of fatalities were of children under two years of age.

The situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh remains one of ten countries with the highest burden of pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhoea-related deaths and illness. Collectively these diseases are responsible for nearly one in every five deaths. 

The burden of common infectious diseases has a profound impact on the health and economic wellbeing of Bangladesh’s population. While existing interventions need to be delivered effectively to more people at risk, there is also a need to develop new interventions, based on our evolving understanding of pathogen biology and evolution and host–pathogen interactions.