ABSTRACT This study was done in Basrah Maternity and Child hospital from January 2002 till the end of December 2002 to determine the proportion of children less than two years of age with diarrheal diseases among hospitalized children and to study the morbidity and mortality of these patients. A child less than two years of age with diarrhea represents the leading cause of hospitalization and constituted (35%) of the total admission during the study period. Infants less than one year of age represent (64.9%) of all cases of diarrhea and the remaining were above one year of age. About (74.9%) of these cases were acute diarrhea and (25.1%) were chronic cases. Age of less than one year and associated malnutrition were the two most important predictors of development of chronic diarrhea. Sex of patients did not influence the occurrence of acute and chronic diarrhea. The duration of diarrhea and the age of patient determined the outcome of cases. Acute cases among infants less than one year of age have higher mortality than those children above one year of age. No death reported for acute cases above one year. The case fatality for chronic diarrhea was (49 % for under I year and 7.15 % for those above 1 year) and it is about 8 times more than that of acute cases. This mortality rate is more than the reported rate in the literatures by about two times, reflecting the need for improving the management of these of children.