5.5.1  Severe persistent diarrhoea

Important!A child who has had diarrhoea for 14 days or longer, and is also dehydrated, must be referred to hospital.

If a child has had diarrhoea for 14 days or more and also has some or severe dehydration, you should classify the child’s illness as severe persistent diarrhoea.


Children with diarrhoea lasting 14 days or more, who are also dehydrated, need to be referred to hospital. They may need laboratory tests of stool samples to identify the cause of the diarrhoea.

Treatment of dehydration in children with severe diarrhoea can be difficult and it is much more likely that a hospital will be able to treat such children more effectively. Therefore you should always refer these children, first giving a therapeutic dose of vitamin A before the child leaves your health post.

5.5  Classify persistent diarrhoea

5.5.2  Persistent diarrhoea