1 Department of Pediatrics, AzadiTeaching Hospital, Kirkuk, Iraq

2 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Sulaimani University


Background: Dehydration resulting from diarrhea is a significant cause of death of young children in developing countries. Oral rehydration solution (ORS) is useful to replace fluid and electrolyte loss. 
 Objective: The main objective is to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of mothers towards the use of oral rehydration solution in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children. 
Patients and Methods: This observational descriptive study was conducted at the pediatric medical emergency department of the Children‘s hospital and the institute of child health in Sulaimani city for a period of eight months from July 2012 till March 2013. The criteria of inclusion were mothers of children with diarrhea. A total of 200 mothers fulfilling the inclusion criteria were enrolled over the study period. Mothers were interviewed and information collected. A pre designed questionnaire was filled for each case by the investigator which included a detailed history highlighting their demographic data, presenting complaints , treatment given at home, mothers knowledge about ORS and drugs, maternal education, water sources, and socioeconomic history was taken and recorded carefully. All the data entered in SPSS and results were analyzed in percentages. 
Results: A total 200 mothers who visited the Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Sulaimani were interviewed. The median age of children group was 2 years, and minimum was (4 months)and maximum age was 8 years, of these 25(12.5%) were below 1 year, and 160 cases (80%) were between 1 to 5 years, and 15 cases (7.5%) more than 5 years. The most frequent age group was between 1 to 5 years, male were 101 (50.5%) and female were 99 female (49.5%), 58(29%) of mothers education were illiterate, and 105 (52.5%) of mothers education was low, and 37(18.5%) of mothers education was high. Among all the patients 172(86%) were from Sulaimani and 28(14%) from outside Sulaimani. Among all the patients the source of water used was well 103(51.5%), and 63(31.5%) was piped, and 34(17%) was tanks. Out of 200 mothers 199 (99.5%) heard about ORS and 1(0.5%) did not hear about it. Of these mothers 183(91.5%) used ORS. and 17(8.5%) did not use it. Among the mothers that usedORS, 7(3.5%) used it by themselves and 42(21%) were advised by family member and 85(42.5%) were advised by physician and 49(24.5%) were advised by health worker. The way of giving ORS wasby cup and spoonin 139(69.5%), and 44(22%) gaveORS by bottle. Of them 109(54.5%) amount of ORS given adequate amount and 74(37%) gave inadequately. And of them 107(53.5%) prepared ORS correctly and 76(38%) prepared the solution incorrectly. Among all mothers; 172(86%) used drugs and 28(14%) did not use drugs. Among those who use drugs 21(10.5%) used it by themselves and 151(75.5%) got advise by family physician. 
Conclusion: Although most of the mothers knew about ORS and used it at times of need, many had inadequate knowledge on the importance and appropriate use of ORS.