Effectiveness of Street Theatre in Improving Home Diarrhea Management Practices

In India, childhood diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under five.  Although ORS is widely available and affordable and there is high awareness of the product, there is relatively low use of ORS.  Only 20% of caregivers give ORS in and 18% of doctors prescribe ORS in North India.  The program objectives were to promote the increased use of ORS in cases of childhood diarrhea and to encourage manufacturers, doctors, and chemists to shift to making and prescribing low-osmolarity ORS.

Because conventional mass media had been inefficient in North India in past programs, this program used community outreach to promote ORS use.  The interventions used were Nukkad Nataks, or street theater shows that delivered key messages, trainings of slum ISMP doctors in the community, and wall paintings of key messages in the slums.

The study found that the Nukkad Natak shows led to significant change in knowledge and use of ORS among caregivers.  The reach of Nukkad Natak in urban slums was 34% compared to between 16 to 2% reach of TV, Radio and Press.


Sanjeev Vyas


Abt Associates Inc., PSP-One Project, USAID

May 2008
Resource Types
BCC for Diarrhea and Pneumonia
Health Area
Child Health
Current Downloads



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.

Sign-up for our newsletter to get the latest updates from SHOPS Plus