Prognostic significance of initial management of childhood diarrhoea in rural areas: an observational study


  • Poorva Gohiya Department of Pediatrics, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Varsha Shrivastava Department of Pediatrics, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Rashmi Dwivedi Department of Pediatrics, L.N. Medical College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India



Antibiotics, Diarrhoea, Oral rehydration solution, Primary health care, Zinc


Background: To identify current evidence in order to guide scaling up of initial management of diarrhoea among children of age group 2-60 months in rural areas of the country.

Methods: This hospital based cross sectional study included all children 2 months to 60 months of age admitted with chief complains of loose stools in the last 7 days over a period of one year. A pre-tested questionnaire was used as the data collection tool and face to face interviews were conducted on mothers of children.  All the data were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 20 software. Chi-square/Fisher Exact/ Student t-test and ANOVA test has been used. Significance was assessed at 5%.

Results: Data showed the use of antibiotic in 55.9% cases, IV fluids in 50.3%, ORS in 6.7%, zinc in 2.0% and blood transfusion in 13.8% cases as an initial management of diarrhoea in peripheral health care centers. Of these, 37.6% cases were severely dehydrated, and 8.14% cases were in shock at the time of admission. 10.1% mothers did not intervene in the first 3 days of the disease whereas 45.2% consulted some health care center only in the later part. 4.5% cases expired after admission of which 69% were malnourished.

Conclusions: This study summarizes the importance of initial management of a child with diarrhoea in defining the further course of the disease and also the failure of effective promotion and propagation of the most appropriate and cost-effective therapy (ORS and Zinc) for diarrhoea in this part of the country. Pre-existing malnutrition further complicates the situation.


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