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Assessment and treatment by a health worker of a child who has diarrhoea.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Afya
Publication Date
Volume
27
Issue
2
Pages
100–111
Identifiers
PMID: 12288141
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

WHO has developed guidelines on assessment and treatment of a child with diarrhea for health workers. The health worker should ask certain questions, look for specific conditions, pinch the skin to see how long it takes to return to normal, and feel the fontanelle and for the pulse. Some questions to ask are How many liquid stools per day? How long has the child had diarrhea? Is there blood in the stools? Specific conditions are overall condition, alertness level, absence or presence of tears, condition of eyes, and breathing condition. The health worker should take the child's temperature and weigh him/her. After the examination, the health worker should decide on appropriate treatment. WHO has provided a chart to guide health workers as they assess the child and decide on treatment. All health workers should know how to correctly prepare oral rehydration salt (ORS) solution. Based on the degree of dehydration, the health worker should treat the diarrhea, dehydration, or severe dehydration. A step-by-step chart for all treatment plans is provided. For example, diarrhea treatment calls for the health worker to explain the 3 rules for treating diarrhea at home to the mother (e.g., more fluids than usual), to teach the mother how to prepare ORS solution at home, and how she can prevent diarrhea. The supervisor or trainer must provide health workers the training and supplies needed to correctly treat diarrhea and dehydration. Health workers should take the time to explain to mothers that replacing fluids lost and continued feeding are needed to treat diarrhea and that medicine is not helpful. Health workers in the community and at the health center should maintain a record on each child which includes name, age, date of visit, reason for visit, diagnosis, and type of treatment or service provided.

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