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Knowledge and attitude of mothers about oral rehydration solution
eMediNexus,  04 June 2020
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Scientific basis of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) has revolutionized the concept and management of diarrhea.

The purpose of a study published in Health and Population – Perspectives and issues was to determine the use of oral rehydration solution (ORS) in women living in slum areas adjoining Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi.

Overall, 457 mothers were interviewed—210 {46%) used ORS packets for diarrheal remedy for children under five years of age. However, only 38.7% of the mothers were able to describe the correct method of preparation while 41.6% had the knowledge about the exact quantity of ORS to be dispensed to a child suffering from diarrhea. Misconceptions were prevalent, which prevented the use of ORS during diarrhea. Many mothers (29.3%) either believed that prescription from a doctor was necessary in order to buy ORS; ORS has a bad taste; or no fluid should be given during diarrhea. The misconception rate was significantly higher among the less literate mothers. Although 69.8% of the mothers had knowledge regarding the role of ORS during diarrhea, only 46% had ever used ORS.

The findings revealed that among the ORS users, most women had correct knowledge regarding the role of ORS during diarrhea (89.5%) and 67.6% knew how to prepare ORS. It was inferred that poor literacy status limits the ability of mothers to utilize ORS properly for preventing diarrheal induced dehydration. Health care workers should spend more time to emphasize the need of ORS for the prevention of dehydration due to diarrhea and undertake IEC activities for correct preparation of ORS solution.

Source: Health and Population - Perspectives and issues 28(2): 100-107, 2005

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