The Ghana Health Service (GHS) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday outdoored a new and more effective method of treating childhood diarrhoea.

The ORS + Zinc Treatment of Childhood Diarrhoea campaign seeks to advocate for the addition of zinc tablets to Oral Re-hydration Salt (ORS) in the treatment of diarrhoea in children.

Dr Margaret Neizer, Specialist Pediatrician at the Princess Marie Loiuse Hospital (PMLH), said the new treatment of childhood diarrhoea would help to reduce the duration and severity of diarrhoea and could prevent further occurrences for up to three months.

She said hitherto the use of only ORS prevented diarrhoea for the period for which the drug was administered.

Dr Neizer said research had shown that the treatment of uncomplicated diarrhoea in children under five years with 10 to 14 days of Zinc tablets plus the ORS treatment could avert over 20 per cent of worldwide childhood deaths.

?Using ORS only saves children?s lives, but does not seem to have much effect on the length of time the children suffer diarrhoea, nor will it have any effect in strengthening a child?s resistance to a severe episode in the future,? she noted.

Dr Neizer said PMLH which was based in Accra recorded a total of 4,288 cases of diarrhoea from January to June this year.

Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, National Child Health Coordinator, GHS, appealed to parents to use the new diarrhoea treatment prescription as it would help the country achieve MDG 4 which sought to reduce by 2/3 the rate of childhood mortality by 2015.

She said the drug which had been manufactured by local pharmaceutical companies was already on the market and affordable.

Dr Sagoe-Moses advised parents not to relent on feeding their children properly while administering the ORS + Zinc treatment.

?It is sad that some parents refused to feed their children who have diarrhoea properly for fear that they might vomit,? she said.

She advised parents to desist from administering other drugs to their children when they begin the ORS + Zinc treatment saying ?if there is blood in the stool or the child does not get well after three days, or vomits persistently, or gets sicker, then the child should be taken to a health facility for further diagnosis and treatment?.

Dr Sagoe-Moses said the new drug was available in all chemical and health facilities across the country and in a blister pack of 10 tablets and ?there is a 10mg per tablet dose for children under six months and 20mg per tablet dose for older children?.

Madam Salamatu Fata, Programmes Manager for Maternal and Child Health, USAID, said a total of 1,500 chemical sellers across the country had been trained on the new drug to educate parents who patronised the drug.

Source: GNA

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