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< prev - next > Water for Life - Community water security (Printable PDF)
12 Water for Life
Treatment for diarrhea diseases
Diarrhea is best treated by giving plenty of liquids and food. In most cases, no
medicine is needed. These diarrhea diseases need special treatment:
Amebic dysentery may be best treated with antibiotics. To know which
antibiotics to use, see a health worker or a general health book like Where
There is No Doctor.
Typhoid is best treated by antibiotics because it can last for weeks and even
months and lead to death.
Cholera is best treated with rehydration drink, lots of fluids, and easy-to-digest
foods to replace nutrients lost through diarrhea and vomiting. Antibiotics
should only be used in the most severe cases.
If a person has bloody diarrhea, or a high fever, or is very sick, they need to go to a
health center.
To prevent diarrhea and dysentery
Because most diarrhea diseases are related to poor sanitation and hygiene, and
contaminated water and food, they are best prevented by protecting water sources
and improving sanitation. (See the booklet Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy
Environment for information about diarrhea prevention through safe, healthy
community sanitation.)
Do not use water from unprotected sources.
Make water safe to drink by filtering or treating it (see pages 37 to 43).
Use toilets and wash hands after use.
Wash hands with soap and water before handling food.
Cook food well and protect food from germs.
Clean baby bottles and eating utensils with boiling water to kill germs.
A way to wash hands
close to toilets can
prevent many cases
of diarrhea.