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    Distribution and production of ORS in Rwanda.

    Roberts RS Jr

    Arlington, Virginia, Management Sciences for Health, Technologies for Primary Health Care [PRITECH], 1989. [4], 12, 16, [1] p. (USAID Contract No. DPE-5969-Z-00-7064-00)

    In February 1989, a consultant went to Rwanda to provide technical assistance on creating Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) Corners and on oral rehydration solution (ORS) production and distribution. Major obstacles to setting up ORT Corners was limited manpower and financial resources. Recommendations for ORT Corners were that the government should emphasize ORT Corners' aim and role rather than the material and physical aspects and gain support of local and regional health officials. Annual consumption of ORS packets stood at 450,000. Since the goal was to have children use ORS for every diarrhea episode, needs would range from 8 to 10 million ORS packets/year. The cost would well surpass the ability of any government or donor agency to finance them, however. Thus the government should implement cost recovery procedures before introducing large-scale community-based distribution. Research was in the process of finding distribution mechanisms additional to the health services. Perhaps the nutrition centers, where about 60% of <2-year old children attend, could serve as ORS distribution points and impart ORT education. The consultant recommended more research on home available fluids to treat diarrhea without dehydration and not exclude them from diarrhea control programs. Since uncertainties existed about probable ORS demand levels, no one could determine needed production capacity or investment level. The consultant observed that it was not obvious who would purchase output. He concluded that Rwanda should continue to receive ORS packets from UNICEF until 1990 or 1991. It should only consider local ORS production when it has clearly identified financing and distribution options and determined demand.
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