Be prepared: Stock ORS and zinc at home

SHOPS Plus launched a campaign to address caregiver practices for managing diarrhea with a radio spot. Broadcast in Hindi, the radio spot focused on the importance of caregivers stocking oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc at home for the immediate treatment of diarrhea. The spot is part of a child health campaign geared toward improving diarrhea management practices among caregivers of children under five. The campaign addresses: 1) the importance of seeking immediate and appropriate treatment and 2) stocking oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc products as treatment at home. It emphasizes three points:


Using the private sector to manage diarrheal disease
While 60 percent of children with diarrhea received some form of oral rehydration therapy, caregivers are unaware of the health risks associated with the disease and how to treat it. 

Working in this context, the project team conducted a landscape analysis to craft the right messages for the campaign.

SHOPS Plus found that caregivers:

  • delayed seeking treatment given their perception of diarrhea as a common occurrence 
  • have a high degree of awareness that diarrhea causes dehydration, but it was not perceived as a problem
  • perceived ORS as a supplement and not a treatment
  • are unaware that zinc should be given along with ORS

The radio spot aired on August 22, and centers on a conversation between a pharmacist and a kullu daadi—a neighborhood elder or grandmother. The kullu daadi visits a pharmacy to purchase ORS and zinc for a sick child. The pharmacist recommends that she keep ORS and zinc stocked at home so that the child can immediately feel better. He explains that ORS treats dehydration with ORS and zinc strengthens the immune system.  

The radio spot ends with:
Dast mein foran ORS  aur Zinc do,
Isliye humesha woh ghar pe ho 

(Give ORS and zinc immediately when diarrhea strikes; so, always keep it at home.) 

The radio spot was aired in Ranchi and Raipur through the end of September to remind caregivers to add ORS and zinc to their shopping lists so they are prepared when diarrhea strikes.


Health Area



Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.

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