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Fact of the week



66: The number of countries having a national policy on the use of low-osmolarity ORS in the treatment of childhood diarrhea was 66 in 2009

Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce child mortality.
Target: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. 

Oral rehydration solutions from a packet are the ‘gold standard’ of oral rehydration therapy to treat childhood diarrhoea, and a new formula (low-osmolarity ORS) is more effective in replacing fluids than the previous version. But just one third of children receive an ORS packet during their illness, and there has been little progress in expanding coverage since 2000.  

Data on the use of low-osmolarity ORS specifically is not available through household surveys, such as Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). However, the roll-out of this new formula has been slow, and only 66 countries have a national policy on its use to treat childhood diarrhoea – even today, five years after UNICEF and WHO recommended its use for all children in need.

Source: Fischer Walker, C.L., Personal communication, 2009

Reference: http://www.childinfo.org/diarrhoea_progress.html



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