Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has a brand-new priority in her life: the defeat of diarrhea.
Reuters reports she’s throwing her family’s philanthropic weight behind an effort in Nigeria to prevent the deaths of 1 million mothers and children each year from preventable causes, including 100,000 deaths from diarrhea.
“It is unconscionable that in the 21st century, children still die of diarrhea,” Clinton told the news agency in a phone interview from Abuja, Nigeria.
Chelsea, now 32 and who has worked on occasion for NBC News, admitted discussion of diarrhea treatment is something many people choose to avoid.
“It makes them feel squeamish,” she said, adding, “It’s important that we shine a light on these problems and then get to the business of solving them.”
She’s promoting expanded access to zinc and oral rehydration solutions or ORS, a treatment hoped to prevent more than 90 percent of diarrhea-related deaths in the country.
“I would like to see us make real, measurable progress here in Nigeria and in the other countries where we are working on ORS zinc,” said Clinton.
“For me, it’s not complicated. We know what works and we should be doing more of it. And when we don’t know what works, we should be innovating and spending time and energy on designing these solutions to solve problems that haven’t been solved yet,” said Clinton.
Her efforts in Nigeria is in coordination with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, or CHAI.
“I couldn’t imagine not doing work like this,” she said. I define success in my life by how much of a difference have I made in a given day, whether that is being a good wife to my husband, a good daughter to my parents, a good friend to my friends, or helping push forward our work at CHAI or the Alliance for a Healthier Generation or any other facet of the foundation.”