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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Oral Rehydration Therapy ORT?

ORT is the giving of fluid by mouth to prevent and/or correct the dehydration that is a result of diarrhoea. As soon as diarrhoea begins, treatment using home remedies to prevent dehydration must be started. If adults or children have not been given extra drinks, or if in spite of this dehydration does occur, they must be treated with a special drink made with oral rehydration salts (ORS) . The formula for ORS recommended by WHO and UNICEF contains:

  • 3.5 gms sodium chloride
  • 2.9 gms trisodium citrate dihydrate (or 2.5 gms sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1.5 gms potassium chloride
  • 20 gms glucose (anhydrous)

The above ingredients are dissolved in one litre of clean water. WHO has recently recommended a change in the complete formula, replacing 2.5 gms of sodium bicarbonate with 2.9 gms of trisodium citrate dihydrate. The new formula gives the packets a longer shelf life and is at least as effective in correcting acidosis and reducing stool volume. Packets containing sodium bicarbonate are still safe and effective.

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updated: 23 August, 2019