Ceniarth to support ColaLife for two more years

Ceniarth Foundation Logo
Ceniarth – a single-family office focused on funding market-based solutions that benefit underserved communities – have supported ColaLife since 2014. Diane Isenberg, Ceniarth’s founder, made contact in late 2013 after hearing Peter Day’s report on his visit to Zambia.

We have been very fortunate to have partnered with a selection of funders who have invested in us as individuals and simply trusted us to do what we say we are going to do. These include unLtd, Johnson & Johnson and Ceniarth. However, Ceniarth has been our biggest supporter over the longest period of time and will have invested around $700,000 by the end of 2021. Without this type of funding ColaLife would not have achieved much beyond the original trial in Zambia. The ground-breaking evidence from that trial would still be sitting gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. Ceniarth has enabled us to keep going between our funded projects (the trial and the two scale-up projects) and build on the evidence and learning we gained from them. Small organisations like ColaLife cannot survive and have an impact on project funding alone. Our work to instigate and then take a leading role in the application to WHO to add co-packaged ORS and Zinc on the WHO Essential Medicines List would not have happened without the support of Ceniarth.

So what is the new funding for? Ceniarth share our view that the change to the WHO Model Essential Medicines List, which now recommends co-packaged ORS and Zinc as the standard for diarrhoea treatment, is a game changer. It moves ColaLife’s work out of the ‘innovation box’ and into the mainstream of children’s public health. The new investment from Ceniarth will enable us to work with others to make co-packaged ORS and Zinc the ‘go-to’ treatment for diarrhoea in children.

4-pronged approach to global scale-up

We hope to do this through the Diarrhoea Innovations Group (DIG) and we are developing a strategy to achieve this global transformation now. The strategy is likely to build on the 4-pronged approach to driving scale suggested in the 2016 publication: “Progress over Decade of Zinc and ORS Scale-up: best practices and lessons learned”, to which our work in Zambia contributed significantly.

A key part of our work will be to accelerate cascading the change to the global Essential Medicines List down to national Essential Medicines Lists. This will change national health policies and influence health budgets and the resourcing of these budgets by national governments and donors.

We will publish our full strategy in a future blog post.

We are working on a solvable problem and we wish to thank Ceniarth for enabling us to do this.