Smart ORS packaging could reduce infant mortality

New Delhi, June 30: Improved packaging of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) could reduce infant mortality rates in developing countries like India.

Simple changes in packaging can lead to significant increase in the willingness of caregivers to provide ORS to their children.

Infant dehydration due to diarrhea results in 600,000 deaths annually in the developing world due to inappropriate or no treatment. ORS is a key medicine to combat diarrhea.

Caregivers indicated that current ORS packaging designs had inappropriately large sachets, lacking clear usage details and were visually unappealing.

"Every additional sachet of ORS sold because of improved aesthetic appeal has the potential to save the life of a child with diarrhea.

Making simple changes to the packaging of an existing product is an easily implementable strategy that could begin immediately.

The majority of ORS sachets on the market are packaged to make a liter of solution. A primary concern of the rural caregivers interviewed was the inconvenience and wastage created through sourcing a liter of clean water to make a solution that needed to be consumed within a 24-hour time period.

Reducing the sachet size to make a smaller volume will reduce this potential for waste, reduce the cost per sachet and increase product appeal.