KARACHI: Senior child specialist, Dr. Jalal Akbar has warned doctors not to resort to antibiotics as the first or even the middle mode of treatment for kids reporting with diarrhea.
Addressing a seminar on “Clinical Manifestations and Management of Diarrhea,” jointly organized by Departments of Paediatrics and Continuing Medical Education of Baqai Medical University, he said diarrhea, the second major cause of child mortality in Pakistan needed special care.
He said equal attention is needed to be paid towards prevention as well as management of the ailment with equal involvement of parents and doctors for the cause of quality survival of the kids.
During the event that was largely attended by general medical practitioners and final year students of MBBS, Prof. Jalal Akber said many of the local parents are not aware of relevance of treatment and often resort to self medication.
He also took exception to rampant trend among many of the local GPs prescribing antibiotics to the children brought to them with diarrhea.
The expert said simple measures must be adopted to treat the condition, with major focus on hydration and that antibiotics must always be the last option, particularly in case of children.
Dehydration due to frequent episodes of watery stools is a major cause of morbidity as well as mortality among the children, he said.
Referring to available surveys, he said 90% diarrhea patients can easily recover through timely and proper re-hydration.
Assistant Prof. Dr. Arshad Hamid Khan in his presentation said that diarrhea is not a disease but an emergency condition for which people are not prepared due to dearth of knowledge.
Mentioning that Pakistan ranks 139th among 176 countries in terms of preparedness level, he said this is a country where a child dies every three minutes due to diarrhea.
Emphasizing the importance to prevent the condition itself, he suggested need to promote culture of exclusive breast-feeding among the mothers, ensuring that no baby upto age of six months is denied of the right.
Dr. Arshad also discussed the importance of immunization and proper attention towards hygiene adding that non availability of potable, poor sanitation etc. enhances the misery of people in general and kids in particular.
Dr. S. Zafar Mehdi on the occasion made a audio visual presentation on Diarrhea reiterating that it can be a life threading disease if not treated at right time.
He extensively discussed kinds and types of the condition alongwith treatment options adding that zinc, iron, vitamin A and ORS can play vital role in the fight against diarrhea virus.—APP