1.1 Background of the Study
Diarrhoea is one of the most common reasons for one to seek medical advice, it can range from a mild temporary condition to one that can be life-threatening. It should not be confused with frequent passing of stools of normal consistency that is not diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is characterized by abnormally loose of watery stools more than 3 times in 24 hrs (Macgill, 2017).
According to Mercola (2012), diarrhoea is defined as having unusually loose of watery stools that occur more frequently than usual. It is an illness that everyone has experienced at one time or another and usually leads to a greater volume of stool and more frequent trips to toilet. In most cases it is triggered by an infection caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.
Uhakheme (2016) stated that unknown to many, diarrhoea is much deadlier than AIDS, malaria and measles combine as it kills 2,195 children daily worldwide.
The United State Department of Health and Human Services, Centres for disease control and Prevention described diarrhea as a common illness and global killer.
According to Lucas & Gilles (2009), diarrhoea accounts for high level of mortality in young children in developing countries like Nigeria, despite worldwide efforts to improve over-all child health levels. Each year, in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, approximately five million children under five years of age die from acute diarrhoea. About 80 percent of these deaths and in the first two years of life.
A lot of people think diarrhoea is just a simple illness that resolves on its own. However, it should be taken seriously because it’s an indication that something is not right in the body, and may even be fatal if not addressed (Amare , et al 2014).
Diarrhoea can be triggered by an infection caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Infection is spread through faeco-oral route by contaminated food and water or form person-to-person as a result of poor hygiene (WHO, 2017).
According to World Health Organization (WHO, 2017), diarrhoea is of three types:
The most severe of diarrhoea is dehydration. During diarrhoeal episode, water and electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, bicarbonate etc) are lost through liquid stools leading to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in the body. If fluid and electrolytes are not promptly replaced, it ensures to organ failure or damage.