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Knowledge and practices regarding diarrhea in rural mothers of Haryana

Knowledge and practices regarding diarrhea in rural mothers of Haryana

Indian Pediatrics 29(7): 914-917

In June-July 1983, staff from the Centre for Community Medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in New Delhi, India, interviewed 145 mothers of children younger than 5 years old living in Garhkhera and Atali in Haryana State, India, to determine the usage rate of oral rehydration salt (ORS) and to use the results to design an educational campaign to prevent diarrhea and diarrhea-related deaths. Atali residents received their water through pipes while those in Gahrkhera received their water from handpumps. Diarrheal incidence stood at 2.88 episodes/child/year. Just 24.1% defined diarrhea accurately (i.e., WHO's definition = 3 loose stools/day). 40% defined diarrhea to be more than 6 stools/day. Only 29.7% knew about sugar salt solution or commercial ORS and only 9.7% of them could correctly prepare it. 38% of mothers gave a child with diarrhea a liquid, mainly weak tea or curd. 81.4% continued to feed a child during a diarrheal episode, but the investigators could not determine whether the amount was lower than normal because of a decrease in appetite. Breast-feeding mothers continued to breast feed during diarrhea. 64% did not know the danger signs (e.g. duration of at least 3 days, at least 6 stools/day, blood in stools, and lethargy), indicating a need to seek medical care. The most frequently reported danger signs were duration of at least 3 days (17%) and at least 6 stools/day (14%). These findings showed limited knowledge about diarrhea and diarrhea management. The additional campaign should focus on the danger signs.

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Accession: 040541812

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PMID: 1428147

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