This particular weekend, my parents were out of town and my unhealthy health practices, particularly lack or respect for WASH had taken their due toll on me. I think I was about 12 years old. I was down with cholera from Friday. I was vomiting and going to the toilet at the same time. I did not have appetite for food and the little that was left in me was being discharged through my mouth and anus rapidly.
My parents returned on Sunday and met me almost lifeless. They rushed me to the hospital and the doctor said if they had brought me five minutes later, I would have been history. What I went through is called Diarrhoea, defined by 3 or more loose stools per day. It causes dehydration or lack of water in the body of children, if untreated can kill.
The Health worker taught my mum how to manage Diarrhoea at home, which is called ORAL REHYDRATION SALTS/ SALT SUGAR SOLUTION and is prepared as follows:
– Mix salt-sugar solution and feed child frequently to replace lost water in the body.
– 2 large Coke bottles (1000mls) of clean water and 1 level teaspoon salt and 10 level sugar(5 cubes).
– the child is to be taken to a health worker if diarrhoea does not stop or child becomes weak after.
Due to my personal experience I got interested in learning about diarrhoea and I have the following written in my diary:
– High incidence of Diarrhoea- 18.8%; one of the worst in Sub-Sahara Africa and above the average of 16%.
– Diarrhoea is the largest cause of child mortality in Nigeria (after malaria) and is responsible for 16% of Child deaths every year.
Hmmm…I also identify very well with this story. I am witness to the fact that ORT works for adults as much as it works for children. Few years ago, I was home alone with my adult younger sister. In the dead of the night, at about 2.00AM, she began to vomit and visited the toilet frequently. I prepared ORT. She began to take it and the vomiting and stoolling stopped. She later slept soundly. She woke up in the morning hale and healthy and proceeded to work.
I am wondering if we did not have at our disposal the ORT wisdom, an avoidable case could have become a fatal one.
Have an INSPIRED day. Think the Child ! Think Today! Think the Future.