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'[EE] Utterly superb anti-Diarrhoea site'
2006\06\23@030555 by Russell McMahon


And not just in a 3rd world context.
I'd recommend that anyone who is caring for children have a look at
the site referenced. For that matter, anyone liable to ever be looking
after anyone may benefit.

I had this tagged OT.
I've decided to put it in EE [[Everything Engineering] as it *is*
engineering in the very truest sense - as a read of the site will
show. If every engineer could accomplish what this technology can
achieve for a dollar at most and typically for cents then we'd all be
very well indeed. If you disagree with the EE tag and want to reply
then PLEASE retag as OT - if everyone does this any replies will
continue on OT. If people keep the tag it will stay on EE, where it
belongs ;-).

Recommending a site that deals solely with stopping diarrhoea may
sound like a perverse joke.

It's not.



Each year 4 million children die of diarrhoea.
In the majority of cases this is preventable.
Where western medical teams are involved the *all up* cost of saving a
life is typically about $US1. Where parents and others are trained and
clinic and labour fees are not a cost the cost of saving a life is a
few cents. Often suitable treatment materials can be prepared from
locally available foodstuffs making the incremental cost of saving a
life zero.

But each year 4 million children die of diarrhoea.

Mechanism of death is dehydration with associated complications.
The solution is maintaining hydration while stopping the diarrhoea
The core treatment is administration of an "Oral Rehydration Fluid".
Ideally this both replaces lost fluids, stops fluid loss causing
systems damage by leaching key components (eg potassium) from the body
and gets the bodies natural systems working again. The latter is
variably effective depending on the materials used. While this is the
least important aspect from a survival point of view, it is,
understandably enough, the measure that people use to assess efficacy
and whether they should persist with the treatment. Systems that do
all tasks well are desirable.

While deaths from diarrhoea are far less common in 1st/2nd world
countries they still happen. And where diarrhoea is a byproduct of
other problems it can cause ill affordable damage as well as
inconvenience. We are likely to focus on the latter and miss the fact
that substances vital to the body's proper functioning are being
leached away. I suspect (without an as yet solid basis for my belief)
that a proper appreciation of the effects of diarrhoea during other
illnesses may significantly assist in other areas.

Googling on          "rice water" "rehydration fluid"             will
give you lots of information on low cost emergency methods.

       Russell McMahon

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