Last updated: 24-March-24

ColaLife closed in March 2024 having largely achieved what we set out to do – and more. The charity leaves a significant legacy as well as a range of publications. You can find these listed below.

Mother and daughter shopkeepers - Siavonga Kit Yamoyo - Proudly Zambian

ColaLife implementation team during its existence

Simon Berry – UK-based. Simon retired in March 2024, when ColaLife closed, but continues to build on the WHO Essential Medicines List success through the ORS/Zinc Co-pack Alliance (ORSZCA) which was launched on 19-Jan-22.
Jane Berry – UK-based. Jane retired in March 2024, when ColaLife closed, but will continue to monitor relevant publications and support the above.
Rohit Ramchadani – Canada-based. Rohit remains the academic contact for our publications.

Quick list of how we worked

  • We scaled up co-packaged ORS and Zinc in Zambia. Local production for the local market continues, on a commercial and profitable basis, through Pharmanova, our manufacturing partner, who now own the Kit Yamoyo trademark. ColaLife completed its input in 2018. Beyond the intervention period,  ex-factory sales had reached 1.83m by 31-May-2023. This represents nearly 1.83m lives improved and it is estimated that 1 life is saved for every 1,000 kits used. The Zambian government is now the largest customer for the Kit Yamoyo (Kit of Life) co-pack.
  • As our input in Zambia started to tail off, we led an application to the WHO to change their Essential Medicines List (EML) to specify co-packaged ORS and Zinc for the treatment of diarrhoea. This was successful. In Jul-2019 the new WHO EML was published. See: Success: WHO adds co-packaged ORS and zinc to its Essential Medicines List. This was a game-changer and moved our work out of the innovation box and into the mainstream of child health – where it is now supported by many large players as well as many academics.
  • ORSZCA is now accelerating this new WHO recommendation at national levels The ORS/Zinc Co-pack Alliance (ORSZCA) which we worked to establish in 2020/21 was launched on 19-Jan-2022. ColaLife provided the secretariat function for ORSZCA.
  • The ColaLife Playbook – now remodelled as the Co-packaged ORS/Zinc Playbook – is available for free as a practical tool to support others. It was first published on 28-Oct-2020. The Playbook is implemented in Google Docs and anyone is able to make comments or ask questions within the document itself. You are welcome to view (and comment on) the Playbook here.  Simon and Jane will continue to support interested parties voluntarily.  The Playbook is listed on the resources page of the ORSZCA website as the ORS/Zinc Playbook.
  • Since 2020 we have worked to get the findings of our work into the peer-reviewed academic press. Academic papers published include:
  • Two further papers have been submitted for consideration:
    • Institutionalising innovation: leveraging the WHO Essential Medicines List to support the global scale-up of co-packaged oral rehydration salts and zinc for the treatment of childhood diarrhoea. This paper is in near-final draft and will be submitted to the journal Global Health Science and Practice.
    • A statistical analysis of the influence of co-packaging on dispensing behaviour in Mongu, Zambia.
  • COVID-19. Evidence suggests that COVID has had only a small direct impact on under 5 children and their carers (adults of reproductive age). However, the indirect impacts, through disrupted health systems are likely to be very large indeed. In the first 18 months of the pandemic there were 2 mother/child, non-COVID deaths for every COVID death. Simon gave a presentation on this which is embedded below. Now that we have learned to live with COVID-19 there is an increased focus on the cost-effectiveness of all treatments across all diseases and co-packaged ORS and Zinc is the most cost effective way to deliver the recommended treatment for childhood diarrhoea.


Our strategy for global impact

Our impact journey is summarised in the figure below.

The ColaLife Impact Strategy

Initially our impact was limited to Zambia and that took seven years to scale up, to become national and self-sustaining. Then came the success of our application, through the Diarrhoea Innovations Group, to get the global diarrhoea treatment recommendation changed to co-packaged ORS and Zinc.

The new WHO Essential Medicines List listing for diarrhoea

This was a game-changer and moved our work out of the innovation box and into the mainstream of child health. We then worked through partners and the ORS/Zinc Co-pack Alliance (ORSZCA), which we helped establish to make co-packaged ORS and Zinc the ‘go-to’ treatment for childhood diarrhoea.

Evidence shows that increasing access to ORS and Zinc for the treatment of diarrhoea will save hundreds of thousands of lives.