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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

CARMO, Liliane Fernandes do et al. Sodium and glucose concentration in therapeutical solution for oral rehydration prepared by Community Health Agents. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.2, pp. 445-452. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000200017.

Infant Diarrhea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children and oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is required. This study evaluates the composition of ORT prepared by Community Health Agents (CHAs) working in Basic Health Units, assessing their profile and knowledge about ORT. After the CHAs answer specific questions, they are invited to prepare ORT using three methods. Glucose and sodium levels were then quantified and compared with WHO recommendations. ANOVA, Tukey and odds ratio were used for statistical analysis. 52 CHAs participated, mainly females, and 90.4% with full high school education. The adequacy of the ORT was 3.9; 9.8 and 28.9% for table spoon, measuring spoon and pinch and scoop, respectively. The ORT preparation by table spoon resulted in 88% of samples with dangerous levels of sodium (>101mmol/L). 38.5% of the CHAs had less than 2 years experience, leading to a 4.8 times greater risk of preparing ORT with high sodium. The CHAs indicated ORT as a treatment for diarrhea, though they were unaware of the side effects of inadequate preparation. The composition of the ORT produced by the CHAs was inadequate in all methods tested. The CHAs revealed a lack of knowledge of the side effects iof ORT with inadequate salt levels. The recommendation is to train the CHAs in ORT preparation.

Keywords : Infant diarrhea; Sodium; Glucose; Health education.

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