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Mislabelling ORS: Jeopardising the health of children suffering from diarrhoea.

On World Health Day, our specialist expert on Community Health Dr. Naresh Purohit* underlines the need to scrutinize the contents of any ORS concoction sold out at the medicine outlets, before using

Bhopal/New Delhi: High-sugar drinks are being sold under the guise of ORS, jeopardising the health of children suffering from diarrhoea. This mislabelling not only undermines the efficacy of ORS but also poses serious orse2health risks, which is scarier. The deceptive marketing tactics not only compromise patient care but also erode trust in healthcare products.

Mislabelling and sale of fruit juices as Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), a vital treatment for diarrhoea and dehydration, particularly prevalent during the summer However, commercially available fruit juices marketed as ORS, such as ORSL and RebalanzVit ORS, contain high sugar content, which can aggravate diarrhoea.

These practices of mislabelling have raised questions about the regulatory oversight in the country’s food and drug industry.
The lack of action from medical bodies like the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is a surprise. It is indeed a shame that such fraudulent practices are allowed to persist.

Medical associations must take a proactive stance in addressing this issue to safeguard public health.

The Indian Academy of Paediatricians (IAP’s) recommendations stress the   importance of ORSE1prescribing ORS for all types of diarrhoea across all age groups. WHO- recommended formula for ORS contains specific concentrations of sodium, glucose, potassium, and citrate to effectively combat dehydration caused by diarrhoea. In a bid to combat the mislabelling of fruit juices as ORS, IAP has called for increased awareness among healthcare providers and the general public.

Stricter regulations and enforcement measures are needed urgently to ensure the availability of genuine ORS formulations in the market.
Consumers should read labels carefully (in the case of ORSLs which actually have “not ORS” written in tiny letters) and opt for WHO- recommended ORS formulations to effectively combat dehydration.


*Dr. Naresh Purohit-MD, DNB, DIH, MHA, MRCP(UK), is an Epidemiologist, Dr. Naresh Purohitand Advisor-National Communicable Disease Control Program of Govt. of India, Madhya Pradesh and several state organizations.)

Dr. Purohit is also an advisor, Indian Hospital Administration.


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