It was 10 years ago when WHO/UNICEF published their recommendation for the treatment of diarrhoea in young children. The ‘gold standard’, most effective treatment is a combination of low osmolarity ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) and Zinc supplements.
This standard has been adopted by most governments as it is so effective at saving lives and reducing stunting.
Despite this, when we started our trial in Zambia in September 2012, 0% of children were receiving this treatment. From a standing start, and within six months ,we’d sold 20,470 of our kits to retailers serving some of the poorest and hardest to reach communities in Zambia and the percentage of children receiving the treatment rose to a staggering 42%.
From September 2012 to March 2013, we estimate that we have saved around 50 young lives.
On the basis of this incredible success we are planning for a national scale-up of the programme in Zambia.
People involved in child health across the world are watching us and we are helping them to learn from our experiences and to incorporate the lessons we have learn’t into their own programmes. That way we can have a multiplier effect.