Introduction Several studies have established the significance of ORS and Zinc in management of diarrhoea—ORS in terms of reducing the level of dehydration and Zinc for reducing the frequency, severity, duration and future episodes of diarrhoea - thereby contributing towards reducing child-mortality. The state of UP has an overall ORT use rate of only 29.2% in contrast to 88.4% in Meghalaya state and national average of 53.6%i.
Objective The main objective of this analysis is to identify the bottlenecks in prescription, accessibility, availability and utilisation of ORS and Zinc for management of diarrhoea in the community in the state of UP.
Methods The analysis is based upon structured interviews conducted on a multi-district sample of 240 retailers/service providers and around 1500 households across UP. The data collected is then triangulated with other sources of data available for UP, collected within the reference period of 2008–2010. The location of retailers and service providers were then mapped to analyse the geographic spread and thus accessibility. This data are also supplemented with qualitative assessment of existing practices related to management of childhood diarrhoea.
Results and Conclusion Triangulation of data suggests that the following bottlenecks contribute to low ORS/Zinc use:
Low awareness and perceived efficacy of ORS and Zinc for management of childhood diarrhoea both among service providers and end-users
Erratic availability of ORS and Zinc in public-health facilities
Geographic clustering of retailers/sources of ORS and Zinc
Financial constraints of beneficiaries