Fighting Diarrhoea
Eighty eight per cent of the nearly half a million child deaths due to diarrhoea each year in India are completely preventable if basic information and simple treatment are made available.
Amod Paswan recalls her neighbour’s daughter who had died just a few years ago after a serious bout of diarrhoea. That’s why he and his wife, Sita Devi, immediately sought the help at the anganwadi centre when their daughter, Kajal Kumari, started vomiting and having loose stools.
Amod Paswan recalls her neighbour’s daughter who had died just a few years ago after a serious bout of diarrhoea. That’s why he and his wife, Sita Devi, immediately sought the help at the anganwadi centre when their daughter, Kajal Kumari, started vomiting and having loose stools.
The treatment is already saving lives. It’s estimated at least 15,000 children have received the treatment here to date.
In the past, parents would use home-made rehydration remedies of coconut or lentil water. A few relied on amulets and rituals, while others went to local “doctors” who prescribed costly and often ineffective injections of antibiotics or anti-vomiting medication.
After implementation of zinc and ORS program in three Bihar districts with IKEA’s ongoing support,
“We were very scared and worried,” says Paswan. “We know children can die like this,” he adds, while her wife clutches her tiny daughter to her chest while she is fed with a shiny spoon.
“We were very scared and worried,” says Paswan. “We know children can die like this,” he adds, while her wife clutches her tiny daughter to her chest while she is fed with a shiny spoon.
Repeat episodes of diarrhoea cause the loss of essential nutrients, particularly zinc, leaving the child’s immune system so depleted that they fall prey to diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and other diseases.
"There now little one, you will be safe and feel better,” coos Rita Kumari, as the toddler swallows the last drops of zinc solution which will help her fight a diarrhoea. Next, Rita asks Kajali to drink cup of oral rehydration salts ORS and water prepared moments earlier.
District magistrate of Vaishali, one of districts in Bihar , Minhaj Alam, says the zinc-ORS program is “now very important in this region.” He hopes others will soon benefit from it as well. “We want all parents and children to know they are safe here.”
The treatment used in addition to breastfeeding, continued feeding and selective use of antibiotics reduces the duration and severity of diarrhoea, as well as lowering the chance of repeat episodes.
Eighty eight per cent of nearly 500,000 children that die each year in India from diarrhoea are completely preventable if basic information and simple treatment is offered. In Bihar, that life-saving assistance is being with the generous support of the IKEA Social Initiative.
In partnership with UNICEF, the state and Indian governments, IKEA’s funding is helping mobilize people at every level of the health-care system across 10 Bihar districts to offer zinc tablets and ORS to children with diarrhoea.
“The cure rate has been very high and the zinc treatment gives such good protection that there is not a repeat attack for many months,” says anganwadi worker Anita Chourasia. says with flashing brown eyes that clearly reflect her conviction.
Join the conversation
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
 
 
 
 
Find us on Facebook