Top 5 Highlights in 2022

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2022 saw us move to work more under the ORSZCA brand (the ORS/Zinc Co-pack Alliance) rather than ColaLife. Why? Because to drive the uptake of co-packaged ORS and Zinc in key countries across the world, we need concerted action from organisations already working on the ground, who hold the long-term responsibility for child health and access to medicines. Although ColaLife is still the legal basis of our work. ORSZCA is the more appropriate vehicle as we continue to focus on our global impact.

The ColaLife Impact Strategy

We are very grateful to the Isenberg Family Charitable Trust for agreeing to reschedule our funding, due to the disruption caused to our work plans by the COVID pandemic. We’d struggle to carry on without their support.

Here are this year’s highlights.

1. An impactful launch for ORSZCA

ORSZCA Launch Speakers and PanelistsMost of the start-up work to prepare for the ORSZCA launch was done at the end of 2021 but the launch event itself was on 19-Jan-22. It was hosted by the ORSZCA Co-chairs: Dr Morseda Chowdhury (BRAC, Bangladesh) and Samy Ahmar (Save the Children UK). Some big names got behind the launch with keynote speeches from Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, Executive Director of icddr,b, Bangladesh (considered the birthplace of ORS), Professor Robert, Black a veteran epidemiologist and Professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Dr Om Prakesh Singh, Head of Health and Nutrition, Save the Children India. A panel session was led by Alison Morgan (GFF), Audrey Battu (CHAI) and Malia Boggs (USAID). >> more



2. Developing an ORS/Zinc Status resource

ORS:Zinc status Screenshots graphicA key role of ORSZCA is to bring together information and present it in a way that is useful for ORSZCA members, so they can accelerate the uptake of the 2019 WHO recommendation: that ORS and Zinc should be co-packaged for the treatment of diarrhoea. With this in mind, we developed questionnaires in English and French to enable ORSZCA members to submit information on the ORS/Zinc status in their country. This information is being continually updated, and shared back here: and in French here:

We are working hard to better support francophone countries in their efforts to improve access to co-packaged ORS and Zinc. We now have a French version of the ORSZCA website but need to grow the francophone ORSZCA network. Please help us do this by forwarding this email to your francophone colleagues, encouraging them to join us here.

3. ORSZCA engages with the Child Health Task Force

View on YouTube

The Child Health Task Force has been very supportive to ORSZCA. ORSZCA was launched on the Child Health Task Force (CHTF) platform and we have subsequently engaged with their Communities sub-group. The CHTF ran an excellent webinar in Dec-2022 on the new Global Fund strategy which will support access to ORS and Zinc. This was the foundation of our Dec-22 ORSZCA UPDATE, where we aimed to cut through the jargon and highlight how the Global Fund strategy is so significant to those seeking to save children’s lives through improved access to ORS and Zinc.

4. Original trial results published in the BMJ

BMJ Social Innovations for Health CoverIn Jun-2022 the highlights of the ColaLife trial were published as a peer-reviewed paper by the BMJ in the BMJ’s Special Supplement on Social innovations in health. The title of the paper is:

Emulating value-chains of fast-moving consumer goods to improve uptake of co-packaged ORS and zinc for childhood diarrhoea: evaluation of the ColaLife trial (click to read the abstract and full paper)

We’d like to thank our fellow authors, our editor and statistician for their hard work over several years to pull this together.

We are currently working on three further papers that we will endeavour to publish in 2023.

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5. Simon Berry wins OBE for services to global child health

OBE medal (3/3)At the end of the year, Simon Berry was awarded an OBE for services to global child health in the UK’s 2023 New Year’s Honours list. This is clearly a great honour and will help raise the profile of our work.

However, it honours one person for the achievements of hundreds of people working together on a single mission: to save children’s lives by transforming access to ORS and Zinc for the treatment of diarrhoea.

This award was accepted on behalf of everyone who has supported ColaLife’s work, from those who joined the Facebook group way back in 2008, through those in Zambia who tested the co-distribution and co-packaging idea in 2012-14, those who wrote the application to WHO to get co-packaged ORS and Zinc on the WHO Essential Medicines List and those who are working today through ORSZCA to accelerate the uptake of this recommendation in high burden diarrhoea countries.

Thank you.

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