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Benin Caregivers Increase Use of Zinc and ORS for the Treatment of Childhood Diarrhea

Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector Project


June 19, 2015

In 2007, Abt Global worked with the USAID-funded Social Marketing Plus for Diarrheal Disease Control (POUZN) project to introduce the Orasel Zinc kit in the Benin marketplace. Each kit contains ten 20 milligram tablets of pediatric zinc and two sachets of oral rehydration solution. POUZN conducted demand creation campaigns and trained public and private sector providers in prescribing the kit for pediatric diarrhea cases. POUZN and the subsequent Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project conducted household surveys 2009 and 2011 to assess changes in the diarrhea treatment practices, knowledge, and beliefs of caregivers of children under five.

Key findings include:

  • Use of zinc and ORS is increasing, but many caregivers do not use zinc correctly.
  • Incorrect treatment with antibiotics continues.
  • Health providers play an increasingly important role in encouraging the use of zinc.
  • Caregivers who recalled either general diarrhea treatment messages or Orasel Zinc messages were more likely to use zinc, and;
  • Caregivers are more likely to use zinc when they have been exposed to messages about zinc and know where to get it.