Oral Rehydration Therapy/Oral Rehydration Solution

Jan 01, 2013


In the early 1970s scientists discovered that a simple mixture of sugar and electrolyte solutions could help rehydrate people—particularly infants and children—who had lost fluids due to diarrhea. Packets of this oral rehydration solution (ORS) became the cornerstone of global efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality from diarrhea. Over time, diarrheal disease control expanded to include promotion of oral rehydration therapy (ORT), which, in addition to ORS, includes increased fluids through available means such as rice water mixed with salt, breast milk, soups, and cereals. It is estimated that by the 1990s, ORS/ORT was critical in preventing more than one million deaths due to diarrheal disease annually. Today, however, knowledge and application of ORS/ORT has stagnated in some countries, even declining in others.

Learn more about this lifesaving solution reading the factsheet here.