Health officers raise concerns on ORS distribution at meeting

Lae News, Normal

CONCERNS on whether oral rehydration salts (ORS) should be distributed individually along with information education and communication materials for awareness were raised at a meeting by health staff from the Government and aid organisations.
The concern was raised by two Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) staff members at the meeting on Tuesday.
They said the ORS might not be applied correctly and “could prove to be risky” if instructions were not followed closely.
They went on to say that ORS, as the name states, is salty and could cause further rehydration if not diluted well.
Their concern was related to children who are drinking ORS.
The MSF staff said children would need a different solution. 
It was also stated that prepared ORS solutions were sighted at market places.
“While it is good to know that the public is familiar with ORS, people has to know that ORS does not clean water but that ORS has to be mixed with clean water,” an MSF staff member said.
Coordinator of the awareness and education drive John Honani said that the concern would be raised today at the provincial outbreak task force meeting to decide how best to distribute ORS while being careful not to cause harm.
Mr Honani also said since the outbreak medical and government officials had pushed for a mass distribution of ORS as “ORS was the way to go”.
Some NGO members suggested for ORS to be supplied from distribution centres only “so that proper instructions can be given out by trained  personnel.”