Oral rehydration therapy is the use of oral re hydration solution for the treatment of dehydration, dehydration can occur due to diarrhea or vomiting. Diarrhea is one of the causes of death in under five children, deaths due to diarrhea is however preventable through the use of oral re hydration solution. There are two ways for preparing oral re hydration solution
- The use of the ORS packets which is already prepared in sachets , it is recommended by the World Health Organization and can be purchased from pharmacies.
- The salt-sugar solution. The salt-sugar solution is used where the ORS sachet Is not readily available.
This post however would be for the salt-sugar solution, this method is quite easy to do and all you need is readily available at home just ensure you get the accurate measurements so you get the desired effect.
- Clean drinking water (recently boiled water or EVA bottled water) 1 liter.
- Iodized salt
- Granulated sugar
- Clean bowl with lid to prepare the mixture.
- A teaspoon or a measuring cup of 5 mls (1teaspoon= 5ml)
PREPARING THE SALT-SUGAR SOLUTION
STEP1: Wash your hands with soap and clean water and dry your hands. Get your water measure 1 litre of water, I had little difficulty measuring 1 litre of water when I had to prepare ors for myself to use once for my diarrhea but I learnt several options to help in measuring 1litre of water
- If you have a measuring cup or graduated containers at home you can use that.
- You can use a short glass cup like the cup in the picture above each is approximately 200mls so you use 5 cups to give you 1litre.
- Or you can use the Eva bottle method which I learnt from a doctor (a personal favourite), you empty the bottle till the top of the label it gives you exactly 1litre.
STEP2: If you are using the bottled water empty the measured 1litre water into the clean bowl , if bottled water is not available bring the measured water to a boil , pour the boiled water into the bowl and allow to cool.
STEP 3: you are using 1 teaspoon of salt to 10 teaspoons of sugar, I didn’t have a teaspoon readily available in my house so I decided to improvise with a measuring cup , the measuring cups in cough syrups or any syrup would do. Measure 5 mls of salt and 50 mls of sugar(5mls x10)
STEP 4: pour the measured salt and sugar into the bowl containing the clean water and stir till it dissolves.
Step 5: once it dissolves the ors is ready to drink.
- New solutions should be prepared after 24 hours even if it doesn’t finish discard and prepare a new one.
- If the child is vomiting don’t worry, once the child starts taking it some is being retained.
- Do not boil after preparation.
- Give to a child with a small spoon or cup.
- Give 3-5 teaspoon full , wait for 5-10 minutes interval then repeat.
- Increase the interval of time between one oral administration and another.
- Depending on the severity of the diarrhea, if mild the ORS is adequate. If severe begin ors and continue breastfeeding (if child is still breastfeeding) and take the child to the nearest health centre