By Rose Walsh, PSI/Guinea Fellow, Interim Director of Programs
On Wednesday, September 26th, PSI Guinea launched OraselZinc®, a diarrhea treatment kit. Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children under five in Guinea, with a prevalence rate of 19.2%. PSI Guinea took an essential step in the fight against diarrhea by launching Orasel-Zinc®, financed by the German government through Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).
Orasel-Zinc® is a revolutionary product, bringing together rehydration salts, zinc and a delicious orange flavor. Rehydration salts treat dehydration associated with diarrhea, while zinc, recommended by the World Health Organization, decreases the number and severity of diarrhea and vomiting episodes. Kids love the orange flavor, making it much easier to give the treatment to them.
The launch was commemorated at the Novotel Hotel in Conakry, Guinea. First Lady of Guinea, Mrs. Djènè Kaba Condé, Ministers from Guinea and representatives from multiple international and national organizations were in attendance to celebrate this important initiative.
PSI Guinea will distribute 300,000 Orasel-Zinc® kits by the end of 2012, which will prevent 13,912 years of healthy life from being lost to morbidity and mortality due to diarrhea. Orasel-Zinc® will be sold at a cost of 5,000 Guinean Francs (~70 cents), affordable for most Guineans. This life-saving product will be distributed through commercial, pharmaceutical, and public channels to ensure wide availability. Together with the Guinean and German governments, PSI Guinea is glad to expand its range of products which now includes diarrhea treatment kits, safe water solution, condoms, oral contraception and injectable contraception.