Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 5

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 5.1 (tests Learning Outcomes 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3)

Why is it important to check for diarrhoea in all sick children who come to the health post?


All children must be checked because diarrhoea can lead to dehydration and is the second most important cause of death among children under five in Ethiopia.

SAQ 5.2 (tests Learning Outcomes 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4)

Under what circumstances would you refer to hospital an infant or child who is dehydrated with diarrhoea or dysentery?


You should have thought of some of the following circumstances:

  • If you have classified the child as having severe dehydration, the child is unable to take fluids by mouth, and you are not able to treat him yourself with an IV line or naso-gastric tube
  • If you are able to rehydrate the child but his hydration condition does not improve after three hours
  • If you have classified the child as having severe persistent diarrhoea (i.e. some dehydration and diarrhoea lasting more than 14 days)
  • If a child has persistent diarrhoea and it has not stopped five days after treatment
  • If a child with dysentery does not improve or gets worse after treatment
  • If a young infant has diarrhoea for 14 days or more.

Read Case Study 5.2 and then answer the questions below.

Case Study 5.2 for SAQ 5.3

Sora is 10 months old. He weighs 8 kg. His temperature is 38.5°C. He is here today because he has had diarrhoea for three days. His mother has noticed blood in Sora’s stool. Sora does not have any general danger signs. He does not have cough or difficult breathing. The health worker assesses Sora for diarrhoea. He is not lethargic or unconscious. He is not restless or irritable. He does not have sunken eyes. Sora drank normally when offered some water and did not seem thirsty. The skin pinch goes back immediately.

SAQ 5.3 (tests Learning Outcomes 5.1, 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5)

  • a.How do you classify Sora’s illness? Write down the reasons for your answer.
  • b.How would you treat Sora and what advice would you give to the mother about follow-up care?


  • a.The classification for Sora is dysentery. This is because he has had blood in his stool. Sora has only had diarrhoea for three days so he does not come within the classification of persistent diarrhoea. He does not have any of the signs for some or severe dehydration, so he would be classified as no dehydration.
  • b.You should have written down the treatment for Sora as being the following:
    • Cotrimoxazole: half adult tablet, or two paediatric tablets, or 5 ml syrup, twice daily for five days
    • Give follow-up care after two days according to the guidelines in Box 5.9. Advise the mother to bring the child sooner if the symptoms get worse.

Summary of Study Session 5