Knowledge And Practice Regarding Oral Rehydration Therapy for Acute Diarrhea Among Mothers of Under-Five Children in An Urban Area of Puducherry, India


  • Suman Saurabh JIPMER, Pondicherry
  • Umakant G Shidam JIPMER, Pondicherry
  • Manjula Sinnakirouchenan JIPMER, Pondicherry
  • Mohsina Subair JIPMER, Pondicherry
  • Loo Guo Hou JIPMER, Pondicherry
  • Gautam Roy JIPMER, Pondicherry


diarrhoea, under-five, Oral rehydration, ORS, home available fluids


Background: Diarrhoea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among under-five children. Correct knowledge regarding Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) helps prevent morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoea. Our objective was to assess the awareness, knowledge and practice of mothers of under-five children regarding ORT and home management of diarrhoea.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out during September 2012. A structured and pre-tested questionnaire was administered to all the mothers of under-five children in the study area.

Results: A total of 252 children and 245 mothers were covered. Around two-thirds of mothers knew about at least one method of diarrhoea prevention. Three-fourths of mothers had heard of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) and knew how to prepare and administer ORS. Also, majority of mothers (82.9%) were aware about home available fluids for rehydration. Around half of the mothers who knew about ORS thought that ORS had to be discontinued if diarrhoea persisted or vomiting developed. Mothers educated only till class eight were almost twice less likely to know about ORS preparation as compared to better educated mothers (OR = 2.15, 95% CI 1.14 – 4.05, P = 0.02). No association was found between lack of knowledge regarding home available fluids with younger age, low education of mothers or low per capita income.

Conclusion: Although awareness regarding ORS and home available fluids was adequate, knowledge regarding its continuation in persistent diarrhoea or vomiting was poor. Lack of education predisposed to ignorance regarding ORS preparation.


United Nations Children's Fund. Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done? New York, NY: UNICEF; 2009. p68.

Walker CL, Aryee MJ, Boschi-Pinto C, Black RE. Estimating diarrhea mortality among young children in low and middle income countries. PLoS One 2012; 7: e29151. Epub Jan 3, 2012.

Munos MK, Walker CL, Black RE. The effect of oral rehydration solution and recommended home fluids on diarrhoea mortality. Int J Epidemiol 2010; 39: i75-i87.

Jha N, Singh R, Baral D. Knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers regarding home management of acute diarrhoea in Sunsari, Nepal. Nepal Med Coll J 2006; 8: 27-30.

Wilson SE, Ouédraogo CT, Prince L, Ouédraogo A, Hess SY, Rouamba N, et al. Caregiver recognition of childhood diarrhea, care seeking behaviors and home treatment practices in rural Burkina Faso: a cross-sectional survey. PLoS One 2012; 7: e33273. Epub Mar 13, 2012.

Shah MS, Ahmad A, Khalique N, Afzal S, Ansari MA, Khan Z. Home available management of acute diarrhoeal disease in an urban slum of Aligarh, India. J Infect Dev Ctries 2012; 6: 137-42.

Adimora GN, Ikefuna AN, Ilechukwu G. Home management of childhood diarrhoea: need to intensify campaign. Niger J Clin Pract 2011; 14: 237-41.

Gupta N, Jain SK, Ratnesh, Chawla U, Hossain S, Venkatesh S. An evaluation of diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory infections control programmes in a Delhi slum. Indian J Pediatr 2007; 74: 471-6.

Sutariya S, Talsania N, Shah C. Study of prevalence of diarrhoeal disease amongst under five population. Natl J Community Med 2011; 2: 96-9.

International Institute for Population Sciences. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3): India, 2005–06. V. I. Mumbai, India: IIPS; 2007. p168.

Nizami SQ, Khan IA, Bhutta ZA. Self-reported concepts about oral rehydration solution, drug prescribing and reasons for prescribing antidiarrhoeals for acute watery diarrhea in children. Trop Doct 1996; 26: 180-3.

Page AL, Hustache S, Luquero FJ, Djibo A, Manzo ML, Grais RF. Health care seeking behavior for diarrhea in children under 5 in rural Niger: results of a cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health 2011; 11: 389.

Lazzerini M, Ronfani L. Oral zinc for treating diarrhoea in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012; 6: CD005436.

Pahwa S, Kumar GT, Toteja GS. Performance of a community-based health and nutrition-education intervention in the management of diarrhoea in a slum of Delhi, India. J Health Popul Nutr 2010; 28: 553-9.

Rishi RK, Bodakhe SH, Tailang M. Patterns of use of oral rehydration therapy in Srinagar (Garhwal), Uttaranchal, India. Trop Doct 2003; 33: 143-5.




How to Cite

Saurabh S, Shidam UG, Sinnakirouchenan M, Subair M, Hou LG, Roy G. Knowledge And Practice Regarding Oral Rehydration Therapy for Acute Diarrhea Among Mothers of Under-Five Children in An Urban Area of Puducherry, India. Natl J Community Med [Internet]. 2014 Mar. 31 [cited 2023 Jun. 5];5(01):100-4. Available from:



Original Research Articles