Scale-up Zinc Sulphate Use for Management of Childhood Diarrheal Diseases in Zambia Through Community Health Workers and Women’s Support Groups

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.SE.19.01.Art002

Authors : Idi Mwinyi


Background: In Zambia, diarrhea is one of the commonest diseases that affect under five children. It represents 12% of all causes of under-five mortality; and only 60% of children with diarrhea received oral rehydration treatment in 2012.

Objective: To assess if training of community health workers and establishment of women’s support groups will enhance the use of zinc sulphate as adjuvant therapy for childhood diarrheal diseases and decrease child mortality in underserved areas. We therefore conducted a literature review of published clinical trials that were conducted in developing countries.

Search methods: We searched Medline through PubMed database and COCHRANE CRCT database. Our main focus was to identify literatures reporting on the effectiveness of oral zinc in reducing duration and severity of childhood diarrheal episodes; literatures published in developing countries, in English and French languages. We restricted our search to clinical trials. There was no time limit attached to our search.

Main results: After literature screening, 112 articles were excluded for not being clinical trials whilst 24 did not meet the main focus of our study. Only 28 articles were selected. Analysis reported a wide variety of diarrheal-related outcomes depending on number of considerations.

conclusion: Zinc supplementation in children reduces duration and/or severity of diarrheal episodes hence decreases child mortality.

Keywords: “diarrhea”, “child”, “zinc” and “therapeutic use”.


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