What are the most cost-effective life-saving interventions? (3) Oral rehydration solution

21 April, 2019

Dear Neil and colleagues,

From years in Bangladesh, I'm sold on ORS. The recipe is straightforward: 6 level teaspoons of sugar; 1/2 level teaspoon of salt, and one litre of water. To ensure timely treatment, families can make and use ORS when children have diarrhea. Buying takes time and money and cause delay. But many people may not be knowledgeable and confident to make it themselves; maybe they don't remember the measures, maybe they don't have or know what is a litre container, etc.

They could use too much sugar or salt, which could hurt. So here's a proposal to promote home preparation and use: Distribute containers with indented lids; the containers hold a litre of water; the indented lids hold 6 teaspoons of sugar if held upside down and 1/2 teaspoon of salt if held right-side up. If the containers have instructions along with colorful logos advertising/educating about ORS, that would also help to keep the treatment in peoples' minds.


HIFA Profile: David Gisselquist is an independent consultant in the United States and has a professional interest in nosocomial risks and transmission of HIV in Africa, agricultural development and agricultural inputs regulation, environment. Email address: david_gisselquist AT yahoo.com