Although relatively simple to treat, diarrhea kills nearly 2 million children worldwide each year, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
The agency noted that research into childhood diarrhea has declined since the 1980s, Agence France Presse reported.
"Funds available for research into diarrhea are much lower than those devoted to other diseases that cause comparatively few deaths," the WHO said in a statement.
It's essential that all children with diarrhea have access to treatment consisting of zinc tablets and a mixture called Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), said Dr. Olivier Fontaine, a WHO medical officer specializing in child health, AFP reported.
"ORS is essentially a pinch of salt and a handful of sugar mixed with clean water," Fontaine explained.
The mixture, which costs about 30 cents per child, has saved about 50 million children over the years, the WHO estimates.