Sunday, August 21, 2011

Management of Childhood Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in children all over the world especially in developing countries. The median global incidence of diarrhea was 5 and 2.6 episodes per child per year in infants (6-11months) and for all children between 0-4 years respectively 1 . Much higher rates are seen in children from low socioeconomic status. The causes of childhood diarrhea vary with location, season and population. With the advent of AIDS, various enteric pathogens are now being associated with diarrheal diseases.
Standard management of acute childhood diarrhea as stated by WHO include ORS, feeding and zinc supplementation. Recently probiotics has been proposed as adjuvant for therapy.
Probiotics are live microbial feeding supplements that beneficially affect the host animal by improving its microbial balance. They are commonly used in the treatment and prevention of acute diarrhea. Several randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses suggested that probiotics are effective in primary and secondary prevention of gastroenteritis and its treatment. Selected Lactobacillus strains had a modest, although significant effect in primary prevention. Saccharomyces boulardii was effective in antibiotic-associated and in Clostridium difficile diarrhea. There is evidence that it might prevent diarrhea in day-care centers.

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