Botswana: Doctor Warns of Diarrhoea in September

Serowe — Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death in children under five years, a doctor from the Serowe District Health Management Team has observed.

Dr Onkgopotse Oduetse, who was sensitising people at Kadimo Samson Clinic in Serowe recently, said the disease was preventable and treatable.

She said a significant proportion of diarrhoea could be prevented through safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene.

"We encourage the development of home-made solutions for prevention of dehydration.

These must be developed according to locally available resources and given at home as soon as diarrhoea appears," she said.

She stated that they had experienced in the past that during September children were mostly attacked by diarrhoea and malaria in Serowe Sub-district.

Dr Oduetse said the sugar-salt Oral Re-hydration Solution (ORS), already in use was acceptable, but should contain more calories.

She added that the ORS could then be kept for cases where the child could not improve and had to be taken to a clinic or hospital as soon as possible.

Dehydration is the most worrisome problem that must be treated in a patient with diarrhoea.

Dr Oduetse said families should be educated about proper treatment of diarrhoea at home and advised mothers to check for signs and symptoms of serious diarrhoea so that they take appropriate and quick interventions.

She stated that children's health problems resulting from exposure to biologically contaminated water, poor sanitation, indoor smoke, rampant disease vectors such as mosquitoes, inadequate food supply, and unsafe use of chemicals and waste disposal, rank among the highest environmental burdens of disease worldwide.

Dr Oduetse said the environment affected children differently than adults as their bodies were still growing while advising parents to give children the right medication as prescribed by the medical personnel and honour checkups.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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