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ORS Use in Uganda

Health & Psychology Uganda

Diarrheal diseases kill roughly 700,000 children a year, almost all in poor communities. Oral rehydration solution (ORS) is a very low-cost means to prevent most of these deaths yet usage rates remain low in many poor communities. The project will test whether providing ORS packets to Village Health Teams (VHTs) and asking them to distribute the packets to parents before a child has diarrhea can substantially increase ORS usage. Because Village Health Teams already exist in most rural Ugandan communities and ORS is so inexpensive, if this intervention is effective it can scale up rapidly. Results found that free treatment coupled with delivery increased the share of ORS treated cases by 36%, and that this intervention was extremely cost effective. Researchers also found that while price is an important barrier to ROS use in Uganda, convenience was not a key barrier.

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