World ORS Day: History, Importance and Common Conditions Treated


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health

General Health

5 min read


As we celebrate World ORS Day on July 29, take a deeper look at the history of World ORS Day and the role it plays in treating dehydration and diarrhea. Also, learn how to make ORS at home.

Key Takeaways

  • Every year, World ORS Day is observed across the nation on 29 July
  • Indian Academy of Pediatrics founded World ORS Day in 2001
  • World ORS Day is even more crucial because of COVID-19 side-effects

Like every year, World ORS Day 2022 will be observed on July 29. The main objective of this day is to raise awareness about its role in preventing conditions like dehydration or diarrhea and saving millions of lives globally. Note that ORS's complete form is oral rehydration salts. So, it's evident from the name itself that it acts against dehydration. In 2001, the Indian Academy of Pediatrics first observed World ORS day, and World ORS Day 2022 will be its 22nd anniversary.

Read on to learn about the importance of ORS Day and World ORS Day 2022.

Why is Celebrating World ORS Day Important? 

As per data, diarrhea is the second leading global cause of mortality among children under five [1]. It shows that, on average, 2,195 children die every day due to this condition. This number is higher than the daily infant deaths caused by measles, malaria, and AIDS. The responsible factors include scarcity of clean and healthy drinking water and lack of hygiene and nutrition. As per research, more than 90% of diarrhea deaths among children can be prevented with the help of ORS [2]. Using ORS in such a situation can make a huge and vital difference. As such, it is important to celebrate World ORS Day 2022, as raising awareness enables people to reach out and help those in need.

signs of dehydration among infants and childrenAdditional Read: Stomach Infection in Kids 

What is the History of World ORS Day? 

As we observe World ORS Day 2022, it is essential to look back to the history of ORS Day to realize its actual value. Before the 1960s, intravenous fluid therapy was the standard treatment to treat dehydration. In 1967-68, two scientists, Norbert Hirschhorn and Nathaniel F. Pierce, independently discovered that cholera patients absorb ORS orally in a better way.

Another researcher, David Nalin, found that adults who consume ORS can skip intravenous fluid therapy in 80% of the cases. It was in the early 1970s when Norbert Hirschhorn came out with the theory that breastfeeding children can also be given ORS solutions. Thus, providing dehydrated children ORS at home or a healthcare facility became a popular measure to prevent diarrhea deaths.

In 1978, WHO initiated the Program for the Control of Diarrheal Diseases, keeping ORS therapy at its forefront. Then began multiple campaigns around the world promoting ORS therapy. In 2001, the Indian Academy of Pediatrics declared July 29 as World ORS Day.

What is the Relevance of World ORS Day 2022? 

In July 2022, India saw a rise in COVID-19 infections leading people to wonder if it's the fourth wave of COVID-19. As per reports, dehydration and diarrhea are key symptoms individuals suffer even after recovering from COVID-19. From this perspective, observing World ORS Day 2022 becomes crucial to promote taking ORS at home, work, or anywhere else to get quick relief from dehydration and diarrhea. Moreover, World ORS Day 2022 provides an opportunity for people to band together and educate others about ORS.

Facts about ORS that you should know on World ORS Day 2022 

  • ORS is one of the essential medicines, as recommended by WHO 
  • ORS is an effective diarrhea remedy for children as well as adults 
  • As per reports, ORS treatment has lowered the deaths caused by diarrhea and dehydration by 93% 
  • ORS solution remains consumable for 24 hours 
  • 100ml of ORS is enough for treating mild to moderate dehydration among children 
  • For adults, the limit is 250ml – 500ml 
  • Patients with severe dehydration symptoms need to be treated with intravenous fluids. 
  • Intravenous fluids should be administered by doctors or other trained medical staff in a hospital. 
  • In case of dehydration caused by severe burns, ORS can be helpful before medical care begins. 
  • Administering zinc along with ORS solution can help lower the frequency and severity of diarrheal episodes.
Additional Read: What is Abdominal BloatingWorld ORS Day

What are the Causes of Diarrhea and Dehydration? 

While observing World ORS Day 2022, it is essential to know the causes of two main conditions where ORS therapy is used. Both diarrhea and dehydration are connected conditions, and you may often get both together. But there are unique causes that lead to each. Here's a brief look at them. 

Common Causes of Diarrhea 

  • Medicines such as antibiotics 
  • Viruses such as astrovirus, norovirus, rotavirus, coronavirus, etc. 
  • Bacteria and parasites such as E. coli 
  • Fructose intolerance 
  • Lactose intolerance 
  • Surgical procedures 
  • Related digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis, IBS, etc. 
  • Intolerance of artificial sweeteners

Common Causes of Dehydration 

  • Scarcity of clean drinking water 
  • Abnormal sweating 
  • Fever 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Diarrhea 

How can you Prepare ORS at Home? 

On World ORS Day 2022, make ORS at home to stay hydrated. All you have to do is take 1 liter of clean water, add half a tablespoon of salt and six tablespoons of sugar, mix them thoroughly, and your ORS is ready. Note that extra salt or sugar can worsen the symptoms of diarrhea, so make sure to mix them carefully.

As we celebrate World ORS Day 2022, it is vital to make our contributions to make the worldwide observation worthwhile. To start with, you can make your family members, especially the children, aware of dehydration and diarrhea. Also, tell them how ORS treatment can help them in this regard. Teach them about the importance of hygiene and sanitation. Then educate them on the basic guidelines to maintain cleanliness and keep themselves hydrated. Also, tell them about other important days such as World Environment Day, World No Tobacco Day, and more.

For any concerns related to diarrhea, dehydration, and related diseases, you can talk to a doctor and get your doubts resolved. Opting for teleconsultation can be a prudent choice unless the situation is complex. For the best options in teleconsultation, you can browse the Bajaj Finserv Health platform and find the best doctors in your locality. Book an appointment as per your flexibility and resolve your concerns right from home. So, on World ORS Day 2022, take the measures to lead a hydrated and healthy life!

Published on 21 Jul 2022Last updated on 15 Nov 2022

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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