The preventable and treatable disease is still the second leading cause of death in children under the age of five.
MANILA, October 10, 2018 – Despite advances in modern medicine, children under the age of five are still susceptible to diarrhea—a disease that has been identified as the second leading cause of death in children worldwide, next to pneumonia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that diarrhea kills about half a million children aged under five each year.In the Philippines, it is also one of the leading causes of death among children, translating to 14 Filipino children dying of the disease every day before they reach the age of 5.
Rotavirus is the number one cause of severe, dehydrating diarrhea. This virus is highly contagious and can spread via fecal- oral route. It is readily transmitted from contaminated surfaces, such as when infants and young children frequently put their hands and toys into their mouths.5-6 The virus has also sent millions of infants and young children to hospitals and clinics. Studies have shown that a child who has experienced severe, dehydrating diarrhea may suffer from its long-term effects such as loss of IQ by up to 10 points, fitness impairment, decreased school performance including delayed school age.7-9
It is a universal disease that our children can acquire, rich or poor. To combat the threat of diarrhea, GSK, one of the world’s science- led healthcare companies, in partnership with the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), officially launched the “Game On: Kontra Diarrhea” campaign on October 10. The campaign aims to emphasize the gravity of the disease and a holistic approach to its prevention, which includes breastfeeding, improvement of hygiene and clean water supply, handwashing, and vaccination.
“We want to inform and empower mothers all over the Philippines to give their children a better chance to a brighter future. Rotavirus diarrhea can seriously impact on a child’s growth and development. A holistic approach—breastfeeding, access to clean water and sanitation, handwashing, and vaccination—has been considered to give Filipino infants and young children a chance against this lifethreatening disease,” said Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the PFV.
“Helping protect our Filipino children from vaccine- preventable diseases such as diarrhea has always been a continuing commitment and advocacy of the PFV,”shared Dr. Bravo.
Vaccinating a child against rotavirus has been considered generally safe and effective based on data from countries who have implemented national rotavirus vaccination programs. In line with the WHO recommendation, 11 there are more than 80 countries that have implemented this measure such as the Philippines, Thailand14, United States, and the United Kingdom. Hospitalization rates and diarrheal deaths in these countries, have declined.
“Diarrhea has been a long-standing health issue around the world and in the Philippines. The time is now for us to act on it by increasing awareness amongst the public on the serious consequences of diarrhea among children,” said Sriram Jambunathan, General Manager of GSK Philippines.
“We will continue to help raise awareness on childhood diarrhea in some of the communities in the provinces with the highest diarrhea cases. All of us—industry, doctors, policymakers, and the civil society– need to work together to help ensure that our children remain healthy and protected from diarrhea,” urged Jambunathan.
This year, GSK commemorates its 50th year in the Philippines and commits to continue helping Filipinos do more, feel better, live longer. The Game On: Kontra Diarrhea Caravan will be in Agusan on October, Iloilo on October 23, Manila on October 25, and finally in Dagupan on November 5.
To know more about the childhood diarrhea and how to prevent it, consult your doctor or community health worker.
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Accessed last September 20, 2018
2. WHO Diarrheal Disease 2017 Available at http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diarrhoeal-disease / [Accessed last September 27, 2018]
3. Liu L, Oza S, Hogan D, Perin J, Rudan I, Lawn JE, et al. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2000–13, with projections to inform post-2015 priorities: an updated systematic analysis. Lancet (London, England).2014.
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6. Cook, et al. Bull WHO 1990; 68: 171–7
7. Moore SR et al. Int J Epidemiol 2001; 30: 1457-64
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9. National Institute of Health. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2562291/ [Accessed last September 20,2018]
10. WHO Diarrhea: Why Children are still dying and what can be done. Available at:
BCB?sequence=1 [Accessed last September 20, 2018]
11. WHO. Weekly Epidemiol Rec 2014; 89: 53–60; 2. WHO. 2015. Statement from the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.
Available from http://www.who.int/medicines/news/rotavirus_safety_concern/en/ [Accessed June 2017]
12. PATH. Country National Immunization Program (NIP). Introductions of Rotavirus Vaccine. Updated May 1, 2016. Available from
http://sites.path.org/rotavirusvaccine/files/2015/12/PATH-Country-Introduction-Table-EN-2016.01.01.pdf [accessed May 2018]
13. Lopez AL et al. Impact of rotavirus vaccine on diarrheal hospitalization and outpatient consultations in the Philippines: First evidence from a middle-income Asian country. Vaccine (2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.04.058
14. Tharmaphornpilas P et al. Evaluating the first introduction of rotavirus vaccine in Thailand:
Moving from evidence to policy. Vaccine (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.12.043
15. Leshem E, et al. JAMA 2015; 313(22): 2282–4
16. Atchison CJ, et al. J Infect Dis 2016; 213(2): 243–9; 14. Inns T, et al. Hum Vaccin Immunother 2016;
General Manager, GSK Philippines
• GSK Philippines – General Manager, 2017
• GSK US Pharmaceuticals, Philadelphia, PA, USA
o 2016, Head of Meningococcal franchise, GSK Vaccines Business Unit
o 2015-2017, Head Health Systems (Integrated Delivery Network & Kaiser Customers)
• Novartis Vaccines Cambridge, MA, USA
o 2014-2015, Head Meningococcal franchise, US
o 2014, Global commercial integration lead for sale of business unit from Novartis to
o 2013-2014, Front line sales leadership rotation
• Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, 2011-2013 – Global Head of Strategy
• McKinsey & Company Florham Park, NJ, USA and Mumbai, India, 2003-2010
o Associate Principal- Responsible for leading client engagements, new business
development, new knowledge, and teams Core Industries: Pharmaceutical and
Medical Device, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Energy
• ZS Associates Evanston, IL, USA, Summer 2002 – Consultant, Healthcare practice –
Medical device company channel strategy
• IGEN INTERNATIONAL INC. (Biotech acquired by Roche in June 2003) Gaithersburg, MD,
USA, 1999-2000 – Engineer, R&D and Product Development
• KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT Evanston, IL, USA
o Master of Business Administration degree, June 2003
o Masters of Management & Manufacturing (MMM): Focus on Strategy, Operations
• NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY Evanston, IL, USA
o Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering
• UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI Mumbai, India
o Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering – First Class with
• Indian National Sailing Champion in 1991. Represented India at the international level in
Argentina, Sweden and China
• Cadet Leader, at Sea Cadet Corps, a voluntary organization, trained ~800 teenage cadets
over 6 years
PROF. LULU C. BRAVO, MD
Professor Emeritus College of Medicine,
University of the Philippines Manila
Lulu Bravo is a Professor Emeritus at the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila.
She is the former Vice Chancellor for Research and Executive Director of the National Institutes
of Health, University of the Philippines Manila.
At present, she is President of the Immunization Partners in Asia Pacific (IPAP) and current
Executive Director and past President of the International Society of Tropical Pediatrics (ISTP)
2009-2011, past Chair of the Asian Strategic Alliance for Pneumococcal Disease Prevention
(ASAP), and former president of the Asian Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease (ASPID).She
has served in various capacities in many other Asian medical and professional societies as well
as in Philippine health associations including the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) of
which she is the founding President. She is also a member of the Rota Council, Pneumococcal
Awareness Council of Experts (PACE) and member of the TWG of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative
(DVI). Her work has earned for her various honors and awards in the academic and research
fields, including the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial Award for Academe, the 2012 Asian Outstanding
Pediatrician Award given by the Asia Pacific Pediatric Association and 2018 Outstanding
Professional in Medicine given by the PRC of the Philippines.
Dr. Lulu Bravo completed her MD, pediatric residency and subspecialty training in infectious
disease at Philippine General Hospital-College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines
Manila. She supplemented her fellowship in pediatric infectious disease at the University of Texas
Southwestern Health Science Center in Dallas, USA in 1986.