Correct preparation and administration of Oral Rehydration Solution: Essential for safe and effective home treatment of childhood diarrhea in Indonesia

Diarrhea-related dehydration is a leading cause of childhood death in developing countries such as Indonesia, despite being largely preventable and treatable through use of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). While the extent to which ORS is used in Indonesia has been explored in earlier studies, the issue of whether it is being used correctly has not been adequately investigated.

The purpose of this study was to assess mothers’ ORS preparation and administration practices and to determine their source of instruction for these practices. A structured questionnaire was administered orally to 100 mothers of children under the age of 5 years, in a rural village of West Java, Indonesia. Only 23.7% of mothers were found to have correctly prepared ORS, and none exhibited fully correct administration practices. Primary sources of instruction were health workers (62.9%), package instructions (23.7%), and family members or friends (12.4%).

Resulting recommendations include education of health care workers, community health education programs, reallocation of health care resources, and revision of ORS packaging guidelines.

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MacDonald SE, Moralejo DG, Matthews MK

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