The Change We Want To See

Mother administering ORS - Kenya
Mother administers ORS. Kenya.
Image credit: PATH/Tony Karumba

We want co-packaged ORS and Zinc to become the ‘go-to’ treatment for childhood diarrhoea in LMICs.

Since 2004 the recommended treatment (WHO/UNICEF) for childhood diarrhoea has been Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) together with Zinc.

More than 15 years on, less than 10% of diarrhoea cases in LMICs are treated with both ORS and Zinc and diarrhoea remains the second biggest infectious killer of under 5 children.

In 2018 the Diarrhoea Innovations Group gathered evidence to show that co-packaging ORS with Zinc greatly increased the chances of a child receiving both. This evidence was presented to the WHO and in 2019 the WHO changed their Model Essential Medicines List (EML) to recommend that ORS and Zinc be
co-packaged. The WHO EML now reads:

The new WHO Essential Medicines List listing for diarrhoea

Amongst other things, ORSZCA wants to accelerate the cascade of this recommendation down to the national essential medicines lists in LMICs.

You can read our full strategy here.




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Making co-packaged ORS and Zinc the "go to" treatment for childhood diarrhoea