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Who Chronicle. 1984; 38(5):212-6.This article highlights the conclusions and recommendations of the 5th meeting of the Technical Advisory Group of the World Health Organization (WHO) Diarrheal Diseases Control (CDD) Program held in March 1984. On the basis of clinical trials supported by the CDD Program, WHO has endorsed use of oral rehydration salts (ORS) containing trisodium citrate dihydrate in place of sodium bicarbonate. Although the bicarbonate formulation remains highly effective and may continue to be used, the citrate formula results in less stool output and is more stable under tropical climatic conditions. At its meeting, the Technical Advisory Group expressed satisfaction with progress in the health services and research components of the program's activities. By 1983, 72 countries or areas had formulated plans of operation for national CDD programs and 52 had actually implemented programs. Training courses directed at program managers, first-line supervisors, and middle-level health workers are held on a regular basis. 38 developing countries are now producing ORS. Another area of activity has involved development of a management information system to monitor progress toward the target of increased access to and use of oral rehydration therapy for diarrhea in children under 1 year of age. Data from 40 countries indicate that access to ORS was 6-10% in 1982 and usage was 1-4%. There have been reviews of 10 national CDD programs, 7 of which utilized a joint national-external team to collect and analyze information on the management and impact of the CDD program. During 1983, 71 new research projects were funded by the CDD program, bringing the total number of projects supported to 231 (59% in developing countries). Biomedical research has focused on development of more stable and effective ORS; the etiology and epidemiology of acute diarrhea: and development and evaluation of new diagnostic tests, vaccines, and antidiarrheal drugs. In 1982-83, the CDD program received US$1.4 million from WHO and about US$11 million from voluntary contributors. The 1984-85 budget has been set at US$19.7 million.