ORS Day is observed on July 29th of every year to create awareness
Diarrheal diseases are the second leading cause of death in children
ORS helps in replacing lost fluids and maintain electrolyte balance
In simple words, Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) is a mixture of salts and sugar with water. It helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body by replacing lost salts. This is why it is given to babies and the elderly who are suffering from diarrhea and dehydration.
Diarrhea leads to the loss of water and electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. If the electrolyte imbalance is not maintained, it leads to dehydration. Other causes of dehydration include excessive sweating, severe diabetes, and lack of fluid intake. Dehydration not only leads to fatigue and loss of stamina, but also affects kidneys. The good news is that the glucose-electrolyte solution of ORS is effective in treating dehydration as well as during diarrhea.
Read on to know about World ORS Day so you can help create awareness.
ORS day is celebrated on July 29 every year. In the 1800s and early 1900s, diseases like diarrhea and cholera were epidemic, causing many to lose their lives. Thankfully, these diseases are now curable. World ORS Day is observed to remember victory over such diseases and to use ORS as a simple remedy to fight fatal illnesses.
Although diarrhea is curable, there is still a need to create awareness about ORS. According to World Health Organization (WHO), diarrhea-related diseases are the second leading cause of death in children below 5 years of age. It is also the third leading cause of death among children in India. About 1.7 billion children around the globe are estimated to be affected by diarrhea every year. This disease claim death of around 5.25 lakh children below 5 years of age every year.
Many children, as well as seniors who die due to diarrhea, do so because of loss of fluids and severe dehydration. ORS can effectively prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea and other diseases in a cost-effective manner. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the WHO thus started promoting the use of ORS from the beginning of the 21st century. The National Health Portal set up at by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India also actively promotes the benefits of consuming ORS.
ORS helps replace the lost fluids and essential salts by encouraging the gut to absorb electrolytes via the combination of sugar and water. It reverses both dehydration and prevents it. ORS is found to be effective for 90-95% of patients with diarrhea, regardless of its cause. In a review conducted by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), ORS was found to be effective against diarrhea mortality in home, community and facility settings.
ORS is available commercially in the form of sachets and solutions. You can either drink the solution or prepare it by emptying the contents of the sachet in a clean glass of filtered water or cooled downed boiled water. Follow the instructions given on the packet to get the quantity of water right as too little water can worsen diarrhea.
Use only water to prepare this solution and not tea, milk, juices, or any other liquids. Prepare a fresh drink every time because a solution kept for more than 24 hours is at risk of bacterial infections.
This World ORS Day, you can also learn to prepare your own ORS at home.
That’s all! While you can use a spoon or a dropper to feed ORS to babies, adults can drink the solution directly.
Additional Read: Why is July 1 Celebrated in India as National Doctor’s Day?
This ORS day, you can spread awareness about its benefits and use it yourself when you need to. Although ORS is effective during the treatment of diarrhea, get medical help in case the symptoms prevail. Book an appointment online with doctors of your choice on Bajaj Finserv Health and stay safe.