Supplementation with Micronutrients

ORT reduces mortality from dehydrating diarrhea, but it does not decrease the duration of episodes or their consequences, such as malnutrition. In addition, adherence to recommendations regarding ORT in children is poor because caregivers want to reduce the duration of illness. This often leads to use of antibiotics and other treatment of no proven value. In addition, there are indications that knowledge and use of appropriate home therapies, including ORT, to manage diarrhea successfully may be declining in some countries. The limitations of ORT and continued high diarrhoeal morbidity, mortality, and associated malnutrition led to a search for adjunct therapies. Zinc and vitamin A are essential to repair the intestinal mucosa and boost immunological responses. These supplements should be given during periods of diarrhea.

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