Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Informal health care provider’s practices for under-five diarrhea management in rural India
Vishal Dogra

Last modified: 2018-07-23


Background: Informal healthcare providers (IHPs) are the first point of contact for the majority of diarrheal cases in rural India. Understanding current practices and predictors for diarrhea management of IHPs is necessary to improve the ongoing programs aimed at reducing diarrhea-related morbidity and mortality.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional survey of IHPs in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was conducted in May 2015. Diarrheal caseload and management practices among IHPs were the broad areas of inquiry. We used logistic regression to establish associations between providers’ prescription practices of ORS/Zinc and other predictor variables.

Results: A total of 720 informal healthcare providers (265 in Bihar & 455 in Uttar Pradesh) were surveyed. Under-five diarrheal cases receiving ORS or Zinc differed significantly (p<0.000). The likelihood of prescribing ORS (adjusted OR 1.96; p<0.001) or Zinc (adjusted OR 4.15; p<0.001) was significantly associated with the availability respectively.


Conclusions: Use of zinc by IHPs for managing the under-five diarrheal cases in rural areas is significantly lower than that of ORS. Programs engaging IHPs should ensure adequate Zinc availability and use.


Acknowledgments: Thanks to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding support.


Keywords:  Informal Healthcare providers, Diarrhea, ORS, Zinc, rural India