Unawareness of mothers leads children’s diarrohea

Published : 12 Nov 2016, 17:43

Md Yeasin

Six months old Yasar Hamid (Adnan) was waiting in a queue sitting upon on his mother’s lap at International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). He needs special care and treatment as he has been suffering from diarrhea for over a week.

“I have started feeding my child some extra milk thinking that breastfeeding is not enough for my baby boy. He has been affected with diarrhea immediately after taking the milk,” said Jannatul Kawsar.

Yasar Hamid is the first and only child of Jannatul who is now at her 25. “I have come here for the treatment of my child as he had been affected with diarrhea twice in the last one month. I took him to homeopathic doctor and he recovered but he has been affected with the disease again,” said the helpless mother. 

Like Jannatul, there were Nobir Bosen, Nilufa, Zakia and Rawshan Ara and many others in the line who all came to ICDDR,B for the treatment of their babies with stomach disorder. 

During a visit to ICDDR,B this correspondent found that many parents from various places of the country brought their diarrhea-affected children at ICDDRB hospital for treatment.

“My five-month old girl has been suffering from stomach disorder over the last one month when she has started taking water. She has been given treatment at Ma O Shishu Hospital in Matuail but she is not cured fully,” said Zakia.

She said doctors at the ICDDR,B have given her daughter some medicines and wanted to know whether she has been feeding the child any extra milk along with breastfeeding. Getting a positive answer from her, the doctor advised her not to feed any extra milk or water to the child, Zakia added. 

Nobir Bosen and his wife Monisa has come to ICDDR,B hospital with their child Moriam as she was suffering diarrhea for five days. They said they are feeding the child extra milk. 

Another mother Nilufa has brought her baby boy Alif at ICDDR,B hospital from Gabtoli as her child has been suffering from diarrhea.

When asked, Nilufa said that she has started feeding her child extra milk after three months of his birth.

Like them, many children have to suffer diarrhea at their early age due to the lack of knowledge of their mothers as they feed their children extra milk with unclean water and other unhygienic foods, said Dr Azharul Islam, head of ICDDR,B hospital.

“It is nothing but unawareness of parents, especially the mothers. Children below six months must not be given any extra food except breast mink. Babies are affected with diarrhea related diseases frequently because of giving them canned milk or other food items,” said Dr Islam.

Mothers must feed their children breast milk only up to six months, he said.

Extra food can be given them after six months but mothers must be careful about the purity of water and food as most of the children become victim of viral diarrhea for taking unhygienic food with unclean water, Dr Islam added. 

In response to a query, he said that mothers should be more careful about their children at pre-monsoon and post-monsoon times as the viral diarrhea attacks witness a rise at this period.

“Mother is the best teacher of their kids. Children start taking their lessons from their parents especially from mothers as they follow their mothers from their very early age,” Dr Islam said. 

According to the ICDDR,B authorities, over 250 to 300 diarrhea affected children come to the hospital every day. They release most of the patients after keeping them observation for four to five hours as the children become normal in the meantime. Parents are also given necessary advices so that they can take proper care of their children at home, they said.

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