n South African Journal of Child Health - Advising caregivers : editorial

Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1994-3032
  • E-ISSN: 1999-7671



Diarrhoeal disease of infancy will remain one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the developing world until the scourges of poverty, unhygienic overcrowding and lack of sufficient safe water have been overcome. While this socio-political dimension of disease looms so large, human behaviour is also a major determinant, and caretakers can learn to lessen the risks inherent in an unhealthy environment. One of the major responsibilities of health services is to educate the public about effective preventive healthcare. This extends to learning how to deal with disease and recognising danger signals that necessitate health worker intervention. In the case of acute diarrhoea, the most important learned skill for mothers and caretakers is the application of appropriate oral rehydration therapy (ORT) and early adequate feeding.

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