Ian Tweedie, Chief of Party of the USAID BCS Project
The introduction of a better and more effective way of treating child diarrhea using ORS and ZINC tablets has drastically helped in reducing mortality rate in children under the age of five years due to diarrhea.
The drastic decrease in mortality can be partly attributed to the increased use of ORS + Zinc tablets to treat childhood diarrhea.
In 2012, The Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the USAID, Behavior Change Support (BCS) and Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS), introduced a better and more effective way of treating child diarrhea using ORS and ZINC tablets.
At a press briefing held last Thursday at the LEKMA Hospital in Teshie, Mr. Ian Tweedie, Chief of Party of the USAID BCS Project stated that since the drug was introduced, over 10 million zinc tablets have been distributed therefore 1 million children had quick and effective treatment of their diarrhea.
Dr. Wiafe, Municipal Health Director of LEKMA Hospital stated that there has not been any infant mortality due to diarrhea since the introduction of ORS + Zinc tablets.
The Ghana Health Service has now made it a standard protocol for the treatment of diarrhea nationwide due to the effectiveness of the drug and this is in line with the World Health Organizationís recommendation according to the Ghana Health Service.
Children in Ghana suffer from an average of three episodes of diarrhea in a year and the vast majority can be treated with ORS and Zinc tablets. The child however needs to be taken to the hospital if symptoms persist after three days.
It was also noted that, The USAID BCS and SHOPS projects are working in partnership with the Ghana Health Service to train doctors, nurses, chemical sellers and pharmaceutical manufacturers across the nation to help increase the supply and promotion of Zinc tablets.
In a speech delivered by Dr. Gloria Quansah on behalf of the Director General of GHS, she urges Ghanaians to frequently wash their hands with soap and water, observe food hygiene and also dispose off waste properly to help prevent diseases like Cholera and Diarrhea, as we are approaching the rainy season, where these cases are high.