Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Clinical management of acute diarrhoea

WHO/Unicef joint statement

World Health Organization; UNICEF

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Publication details

Number of pages: 8
Publication date: 2004
Languages: Chinese, English, French, Spanish



Diarrhoeal diseases are a leading cause of sickness and death among children in developing countries.

This Joint Statement focuses on two recent advances in managing diarrhoeal disease – newly formulated oral rehydration salts (ORS) containing lower concentrations of glucose and salt, and success in using zinc supplementation – which can drastically reduce the number of child deaths.

The new methods, used in addition to prevention and treatment of dehydration with appropriate fluids, breastfeeding, continued feeding and selective use of antibiotics, will reduce the duration and severity of diarrhoeal episodes and lower their incidence. Families and communities are key to achieving the goals set for managing the disease by making the new recommendations routine practice in the home and health facility.