Knowledge and use of oral rehydration therapy for childhood diarrhoea in India : effects of exposure to mass media

Rao, K.V.
Mishra, Vinod K.
Retherford, Robert D.
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Mumbai, India: International Institute for Population Sciences and Honolulu: East-West Center
Despite the Indian Government's vigorous Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) Programme, conducted for more than a decade, very few children who fall ill with diarrhoea are treated with ORT or increased fluids. Many of the children who receive treatment from a health facility or provider are given unnecessary, and sometimes harmful, antibiotics and other antidiarrhoeal drugs, but not ORT. These findings indicate a lack of awareness of proper treatment of diarrhoea not only among mothers but also among health-care providers. The analysis shows clearly, however, that mother's exposure to radio, television, and cinema increases awareness and use of ORT. The NFHS Subject Reports is a series summarizing secondary analysis of data from the 1992-93 National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in India. The NFHS collected information from nearly 90,000 Indian women on a range of demographic and health topics. Conducted under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the survey provides national and state-level estimates of fertility, infant and child mortality, family planning practice, maternal and child health, and the utilization of services available to mothers and children. IIPS conducted the survey in cooperation with consulting organizations and 18 population research centers throughout India. The East-West Center and a U.S.-based consulting firm, Macro International, provided technical assistance, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided financial support. Printed copies are available from the East-West Center Research Program, Population and Health Studies. Single copies are available free by airmail and may be reproduced for educational use.
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