A total of 257 boys (age range 4-55 months), who had acute diarrhoea with moderate to severe dehydration, were randomly assigned to treatment with either the World Health Organisation/United Nations Childrens Fund (WHO/Unicef) recommended oral rehydration solution or cereal based oral rehydration solution made either of maize, millet, sorghum, or rice. After the initial rehydration was achieved patients were offered traditional weaning foods. Treatment with oral rehydration solution continued until diarrhoea stopped. Accurate intake and output was maintained throughout the study period. Efficacy of the treatment was compared between the different treatment groups in terms of intake of the solution, stool output, duration of diarrhoea after admission, and weight gain after 24, 48, and 72 hours, and after resolution of diarrhoea. Results suggest that all the cereal based solutions were as effective as glucose based standard oral rehydration solution in the treatment of diarrhoea.
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