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Public-Private Partnership for Diarrhea Case Management


  • Diarrhea prevalence in Ghana was a serious problem.
  • The Abt-led SHOPS project promoted zinc use for diarrhea.
  • SHOPS helped make ORS and zinc common treatments for diarrhea.
The Challenge

In 2014, prevalence of diarrheal disease among children under five in Ghana was 12 percent, and the disease accounted for an estimated 9 percent of child deaths. Sixty-nine percent of children with diarrhea went to a professional health provider for treatment. Of these, roughly 50 percent—including patients from the poorest segments of the population—sought care from a private-sector provider.

The Approach

The USAID-funded and Abt-led Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project used a multi-pronged approach to introduce and scale up zinc in Ghana to combat diarrhea. SHOPS:

  • Ensured a sustained supply of quality, affordable zinc through private sector channels.
  • Improved caregiver and private-provider knowledge of correct use and effectiveness of zinc as a diarrhea treatment.
  • Increased the use of oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc as the first-line treatment for acute pediatric diarrhea.
The Results

SHOPS worked with two manufacturers to introduce zinc into Ghana’s commercial market. These partnerships increased the supply of quality, affordable ORS and zinc available in the private sector, while improving the market’s profitability, growth and sustainability. In 2015, 90 percent of retail outlets carried oral rehydration salts (ORS) and 70 percent carried zinc. In less than three years of implementation, 66.36 million tablets—5 million treatments—entered the commercial market. SHOPS also trained 2,000 private healthcare providers and 10,000 as over-the-counter medicine sellers.

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