the Middle East: Lessons
From the Egyptian Oral
Rasha A. Abdulla
University of Miami
In 1983, Egypt launched an oral rehydration therapy (ORT) campaign in answer to an urgent need to cut down on the rate of infant mortality caused by diarrheal-related diseases. Two years after it started, the British Medical Journal, 1985, p. 1249) described the Egyptian campaign as “what may be the world's most successful health education program. ”
At that time, diarrheal-related diseases were responsible for more than 30% of infant mortalities worldwide (World Health Organization, 2002). In Egypt, the infant mortality rate for children under two was about 140 per thousand (El Mougi & El Tohamy, 1983; United Nations Children's Fund, 1987). Diarrheal-related illnesses, especially dehydration, accounted for more than half of the child mortality cases in Egypt (Kreuger, 1983; Gabr, 1983). The objective of the campaign was to decrease this rate by 25% in its first five years (Stone, 1983; Bartholet, 1986).
The Egyptian campaign proved to be very successful. Only two years after it started, awareness levels of ORT reached 90%, and usage rates reached 70%. As a result, infant mortality rates dropped in half. When the ORT campaign____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Entertainment-Education and Social Change: History, Research, and Practice. Contributors: Arvind Singhal - Editor, Michael J. Cody - Editor, Everett M. Rogers - Editor, Miguel Sabido - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 301.
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