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Bull World Health Organ. 1996;74(2):189-97.

Impact of oral rehydration and selected public health interventions on reduction of mortality from childhood diarrhoeal diseases in Mexico.

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Interinstitutional Health Systems Research Group, Ministry of Health, Mexican Social Security Institute, Mexico City.


Reported are the results of an analysis of mortality trends from diarrhoeal diseases among under-5-year-olds in Mexico between 1978 and 1993 in relation to the impact of education, basic sanitation, and selected medical care practices. The study period was divided into three stages; the first pre-dated the widespread application of oral rehydration therapy (ORT); the second, covered the implementation of a nationwide programme promoting ORT; and the third included additional measures, such as immunization and improvements in basic sanitation. Mortality rates decreased progressively, at an average of 1.8% per year in the first stage, 6.4% in the second, and 17.8% in the third. The importance of literacy campaigns for women and the promotion of ORT was confirmed. Both of these measures reduced mortality; however, a greater reduction resulted from a massive immunization campaign against measles and improvements in sanitation (expansion of the drainage and piped water systems, improved water chlorination procedure, and effective prohibition of the use of sanitary sewage for vegetable irrigation).

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