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Bangladesh has been dismissed by some as a struggling nation badly in need of development. Yet while relatively up-and-coming Pakistan may have the nuclear bomb, Bangladesh has fewer infant deaths.

In this article, Geoff Watts looks at how one research organisation has made a huge impact on infant health in Bangladesh. The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Dhaka, which recently celebrated its first quarter-century, pioneered the oral rehydration treatment of salt, sugar and water that has, to date, saved some 40 million lives around the globe.

Centre director David Sack is one of the factors in its success. Sack has helped uphold one of the centre’s key objectives: promoting science with a purpose. And Watts shows that, while the centre must realign its priorities to include HIV and respiratory infections, it looks set to stay true to that goal.

Link to full article in the British Medical Journal

Reference: BMJ 327, 1308 (2003)