Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oral Rehydration Salts and Zinc: Simple but big solution to save children’s lives.


Veronica became very weak
as dehydration set in
©UNICEF Indonesia/2013/Rob Patmore
It was early morning in the town of Tambolaka on the Indonesian island of Sumba when Teresia and her husband rushed their daughter for treatment. Veronica was very weak and in need of lots of fluids. When she started vomiting and having loose stools, an Angkot (mini bus) driver immediately took them to sought help at the local hospital.

Veronica is a 1.5 year old girl, who became weak with every passing hour as the diarrhea continued and dehydration set in. Her mother Teresia watched, tenderly pressing Veronica close to her, hoping to somehow save her daughter’s life.

“We were very scared and worried,” says Teresia. “We have heard that children can die from just diarrhoea,” she adds while looking at her daughter. One of the health workers arrived with a small sachet of oral rehydration salts. She was also given Zinc tablet diluted in a teaspoon of water, which will help her fight a potentially deadly case of diarrhoea.