Current Approach in the Management of Diarrhea in Children: From Theory and Research to Practice and Pragmatism
Diarrhea is the second leading cause of deaths in children under five—after pneumonia—with 1.5 million deaths per year. Several studies and meta-analysis, show that low osmolarity oral rehydration salts and zinc, significantly reduce morbidity and mortality in children with diarrhea. Since 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommended their routine use in children with diarrhea alongside existing preventive measures. Since then, these recommendations are still not yet put into practice in many countries. This article highlights current available evidence of the efficacy of low osmolarity oral rehydration salts and zinc in the management of diarrhea in children. It is hoped this will raise awareness in policy makers and health personnel to adopt these recommendations so that morbidity and mortality from diarrhea in children could be curbed.