Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Duration of Acute Watery Diarrhoea in Children aged Six Months to Five Years
Keywords:Acute watery diarrhea, ORS, zinc, World Health Organization (WHO)
Background: Diarrheal disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among young children under five years of age in developing countries. The longer duration of diarrhea increases the chance of morbidity and mortality. Zinc supplementation decreases the duration of diarrhea. It is a straightforward, acceptable, low-cost, and effective treatment that could easily be affordable in our country.
Objective: This study aimed to determine the effect of zinc supplementation on the duration of acute watery diarrhea. Materials and Methods: A total of 106 subjects were included in this study over six months, from December 2014 to May 2015. Detailed information was obtained from each patient. A total of 106 patients were taken. Among them, 53 patients (group A) were given zinc with Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), and 53 patients (Group B) were given ORS only. However, three patients in each group were lost during follow-up. Data were analyzed by using a standard statistical method (SPSS version 16.0).
Results: The duration of diarrhea was three days in 56% of patients in the zinc-supplemented group, but it was only 20% in the control group. The frequency of stool gradually decreased over five days. It was more marked in zinc supplemented group. The p-value was 0.001. Vomiting occurred in 30% of patients in zinc supplemented group, and in the control group, it was only 20%. The p-value was 0.5. So we conclude that oral zinc administration in acute watery diarrhea (AWD) decreases the duration and causes early recovery and may be considered in the management of AWD.
Conclusion: Oral zinc administration in acute watery diarrhea decreases the duration and frequency of diarrhea in children aged six months to five years by changing the natural course of acute diarrheal disease.
TAJ 2022; 36: No-1: 107-112