[Health]: Diarrhoea; What You Must Understand.

Acute diarrhoea is one of the major cause of under five mortality in Nigeria.

When your child passes watery stools at least 3 times in 24 hour period, could contain mucous or could even be bloody, taking the shape of the container it is placed.

1. Acute watery diarrhoea including cholera starts suddenly, and could last several hours or days. The main danger here is, they may die if dehydrated for a long time. Hence, you must continue to breasts feed and give oral rehydration solution (ORS).

Then immediately proceed to the hospital where your child will be adequately rehydrated.

2. Acute bloody diarrhoea is similar to acute watery diarrhoea but is associated with gross blood in the stool, this blood is usually fresh. The main concern here is dehydration and intestinal damage.

DO NOT give loperamide!!! Most mothers makes this mistake, proceed to the hospital immediately.

Malnutrition and dehydration sets in quickly in diarrhoea diseases, they lose both water and electrolytes which help to keep both their muscles, intestines and heart in good working conditions.

Your child with diarrhoea is often not hungry and mothers often makes the mistake of not feeding the child adequately during diarrhoea diseases tilting the child into malnutrition.

Children with diarrhoea are prone to different infections.

Management of Diarrhoea

ORS is the core management of dirrhoea. 

A. A WHO standard ORS is found in our local chemist, some contains Zinc tablets.

B. Solution made from sugar and salt will help if you can’t get ORS. Or even GARRI water with salt! Glucose without salt is not ORS!

Plain water, coconut water, soups etc.

C. If ORS is not appropriatly constituted, it will cause more Harm than Good.

What are the symptoms to look for?

1. Eyes, when they cry any tears?

Do they drink fluid eagarly? If yes continue with ORS liberally.

2. Is the skin dry, when you pinch the skin does it slowly go back like overstretched rubber? Proceed to clinic immediately

3. If they are unconscious or very weak, do not take anything at all, it is an emergency!

Remember tetracycline (red and yellow capsule stains the teeth of infants! Avoid it!)

If you are confused with choice of Readily available antibiotics consult your Doctor.


Major cause of Diarrhoea 

1. Rota virus it is good you immunise your kids against ROTAVIRUS.

2. NORWALK Virus

3. Some bacteria such as E. coli (due to poor handling of food), Shigella,  Salmonella etc.

Most of these diarrhoea is caused by viruses and may not need antibiotics!

Just resuscitate with fluids.

CREDIT: Dr Precious Omokhefe.

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