Field studies in Bangladesh demonstrated that after proper training, village mothers were able to prepare and use rice-based, salt-enriched oral rehydration solutions containing safe concentrations of sodium, and were capable of achieving significantly fewer treatment failures and a reduction in the duration of diarrhea than with glucose-based oral rehydration solutions (ORS). An additional longitudinal study showed that improved growth and weight gain occurred with the consistent use of ORS; the effect was greater when rice-based ORS were used. In addition, the following possible limitations and benefits of cereal-based oral rehydration therapy, which are relevant to the strategies for its implementation in national diarrheal disease control programs, are discussed: safety, osmolarity, hypernatremia, spoiling, effectiveness, rehydration ability, reduction in diarrhea volume and duration, nutritional effects, effect on food intake, acceptance and usage by care givers, training of health workers, self-reliance of families, effect on other child survival activities, costs, potential problems in changing to cereal-based ORS, and the role of industrial production in packaged cereal-based ORS.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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