Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
GALVAO, Clóvis E. S. et al. Oral rehydration therapy for acute diarrhoea in a region of northeastern Brazil, 1986-1989. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.28, n.6, pp.416-422. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101994000600005.
Some aspects of the use of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) in the treatment of acute infant diarrhoea in children under five years of age in three different areas of S. Luís Island, Maranhão, Brazil were analysed. This paper is based on data from a transversal study carried out by "Projeto de Controle da Doença Diarréica Infantil no Maranhão" in the districts of Vila Palmeira and Anjo da Guarda in the municipality of S. Luís and in two other districts in S. José de Ribamar county, involving 13,867 children under five years of age, in 1986 and 1989. Chi-square analysis and Fisher's exact test were used for significance testing. The study revealed a high prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases and a low usage of ORT in the areas analysed, with a significant decrease in the former from 1986 to 1989, and a great variance from one area to another,especially in 1986. The use of ORT was closely related to the age of the children, the educational level, of their mothers, and who it was who prescribed the treatment and medicines. There was no significant association with family income or the working relationships of the head of family at his/her job. There was a lack of knowledge of anthropological aspects of the use of ORT. Some intervention activities are proposed increase the dissemination of ORT, such as a health educational policy directed mainly to low income communities a review of programs on management of infant diarrhoea directed at health workers and a training program for the health community agents to improve their job in the communities.
Keywords : Diarrhea, infantile [epidemiology]; Oral rehydratation therapy.