Photo of a baby in Naivasha, Kenya
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A baby is weighed in the Naivasha District Hospital in Kenya. Photo credit: Paul J. Brown
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By Tulip Mazumdar

The number of children dying worldwide of diarrhoea fell by a third between 2005 and 2015, researchers have found.

The study says better access to clean water and sanitation is key, with fewer weak and malnourished children becoming infected.

New vaccines have also had a positive impact.

However, diarrhoea is still the fourth-biggest killer of children globally, with almost 500,000 a year dying before their fifth birthday.

This figure could well be a significant under-estimate because of the lack of data in sub-Saharan Africa, where most cases occur.

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Ali Mokdad, Professor of Global Health, is the lead author of the study.