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Lancet. 2002 Jun 8; 359:2009.Carol Bellamy, head of UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), warned that immunization programs worldwide are threatened by the gross reduction of routine childhood- vaccines despite the fact that the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases is increasing. Although production of childhood vaccines normally requires about 2 years, countries funding such programs only commit funds for 1 year at a time. This makes it difficult for their poorer counterparts to make multiyear purchase commitments. As a consequence, UNICEF has been unable to sign long-term contracts with vaccine manufacturers. Thus UNICEF has been calling for long- term commitments from donors.
In: ICORT II proceedings. Second International Conference on Oral Rehydration Therapy, December 10-13, 1985, Washington, D.C., [edited by] Linda Ladislaus-Sanei and Patricia E. Scully. Washington, D.C., Creative Associates, 1986 Dec. 83-5.At a recent international conference on Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) there were discussions on policy issues. Advances in oral rehydration solution (ORS) local production, and the use of private sector and public sector distribution. It was agreed that the roles of ORS packets and home solutions must be carefully thought through and the be the basis of the program. If ORS is going to be available at the household level then the use of the private sector should be considered. The policy to use informal distribution channels and traditional healers has shown to increase public access to ORS. Also, donor support of ORS commodities may not lead to self sufficiency. Governments should plan for self sufficiency in advance and should manage donor support. Advances in local ORS production include factors that promote low cost production such as efficient personnel, economical procurement of materials, appropriate choice of equipment, minimizing duties, and using existing production facilities. The adoption of a citrate ORS formula allows the use of cheaper packaging material. The private sector can and should be used to make ORS available on a wide scale. Product pricing is a highly complex problem and the mothers ability to pay must be balanced against the profit incentives in the distribution system. Subsidies have been necessary to encourage the private sector and mass media campaigns have proven to be a useful subsidy. The key factor in gaining wide coverage is the person who contacts the mother. Competition can be useful in gaining greater effective usage but there are tradeoffs. The high costs of import licenses and hard currency have been stumbling blocks for the private sector production in some countries. It was found that it is inadvisable to set up a separate distribution system for ORS and it should not be given priority over other child survival interventions. Also a policy of cost recovery can make a program more viable in the absence of donor assistance and has increased confidence in the product and therapy.
[Columbia Maryland], Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Public Applied Systems, 1984 Sep. 26,  p. (Contract No. PDC-1406-I-02-4062-00, W.0.2; Project No. 936-5939-12)Westinghouse Health Systems, under a US Agency for International Development (USAID) contract, ass ssed the global supply and demand of oral rehydration salts (ORS) and developed a set of recommendations concerning USAID's future role as a supplier of ORS. 1.5 billion ORS packets (assuming each packet is equivalent to 1 liter of ORS solution) would be required to treat all ORS treatable cases of diarrhea which occur annually among the world's children under 5 years of age. Currently, about 200 million packets are manufactured/year. In 1983, international sources supplied slightly less than 37 million packets, and the remaining packets were produced by local or in-country manufacturers. UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), which currently provides 81% of the international supply, contracts with private firms to manufacture ORS and then distributes the packets to developing countries, either at cost or free of charge. UNICEF purchases the packets for about US$.04-US$.05. USAID provides about 12.3% of the international supply. Prior to 1981, USAID distributed UNICEF packets. Since 1981, USAID has distributed ORS packets manufactured by the US firm of Jianas Brothers. USAID must pay a relatively high price for the packets (US$.08-US$.09) since the manufacturer is required to produce the packets on an as needed basis. Other international suppliers of ORS include the International Dispensary Association, the Swedish International Development Authority, the International Red Cross, and the World Health Organization. Currently, 38 developing countries manufacture and distrubute their own ORS products. These findings indicate that there is a need to increase the supply of ORS; however, the supply and demand in the future is unpredictable. Factors which may alter the supply and demand in the future include 1) the development of superior alternative formulations and different type of ORS products, 2) a reduction in the incidence of diarrhea due to improved environmental conditions or the development of a vaccine for diarrhea, 3) increased production of ORS in developing countries, 4) increased commercial sector involvement in the production and sale of ORS products, and 5) the use of more effective marketing techniques and more efficient distribution systems for ORS products. USAID options as a future supplier of ORS include 1) purchasing and distributing UNICEF packets; 2) contracting with a US firm to develop a central procurement system, similar to USAID's current contraceptive procurement system; 3) contracting with the a US firm to establish a ORS stockpile of a specified amount; 4) promoting private and public sector production of ORS within developing countries; 5) including ORS as 1 of the commodities available to all USAID assisted countries. The investigators recommended that USAID should contribute toward increasing the global supply of ORS; however, given the unpredictability of the ORS demand and supply, USAID should adopt a short-term and flexible strategy. This strategy precludes the establishment of a central procurement system; instead, USAID should contract a private firm to establish an ORS stockpile and to fill orders from the stockpile. Consideration should be given to altering the ORS packets size and to alternative ORS presentations. USAID should also promote the production of quality ORS products within developing countries and continue to support research on other diarrhea intervention strategies. This report also discusses some of the problems involved in manufacturing and packaging ORS. The appendices contain 1) a WHO and UNICEF statement on the ORS formulation made with citrate instead of bicarbonate, 2) a list of developing countries which manufacture ORS, and 3) statistical information on distribution of ORS by international sources.