This is a festive period, therefore I expect that families will attend loads of parties and eat all sorts of food, including the ones they have not seen or tasted in their lives. Therefore, do not be amazed if your kids or some adults come down with ‘Diarrhoea’.
Diarrhoea is basically the frequent passage of very loose watery stool, at least more than the usual number. So if you normally pass twice a day and you end up doing up to 5 times in less than 24 hours…you have ‘the runs’.
Tips on what to do:
1. Do not panic.
2. Make sure it’s diarrhoea we are dealing with.
3. Check to see if there is associated blood, mucus, or both.
4. If it contains blood, please dash off to the hospital…I can’t shout joor!
5. Is there a fever? Give paracetamol for now.
6. Continue breastfeeding if you have a baby. Contrary to what you hear, breastfeeding makes it better.
7. Use any of the following Oral Rehydration Therapies to stop the diarrhoea at home before moving to the hospital:
– ready to mix WHO ORS (salt sugar solution)
– parboiled rice water
– coconut water
– original unsweetened yoghurt
– ‘garri’ water
– ginger tea/water
8. If condition does not improve within 2 to 3 days, move the person to hospital please. Don’t bother trying other things.
How to make Salt-Sugar Solution:
– Use cool clean boiled water.
I hope this is illustrative enough. Any questions you have about it, ask in the comment box.
Things you must never do:
1. No self medication. That means do not use any drug not given by a doctor. Failure to comply, the diarrhoea can get worse.
2. Do not consult your chemist. If you have questions, the most you can do before seeing the doctor is to ask a registered pharmacist.
3. Do not recycle drugs used by a sibling, family or friend who have had similar problem in the past.
Signs to look out for in some one who has diarrhoea, that says the condition is worsening and it’s time to run to the hospital:
1. Sunken eyes with dark circles around the eyes.
2. Depressed skull or fontanelle especially in babies. 3. Extreme weakness
4. Drowsiness (the person will be doing as if he is falling asleep)
5. Serious dryness of the lips, tongue and skin.
6. The person might not be passing out enough urine.
If some or all of these things are there…start running to the hospital.