New partnership with Teck Resources will save children’s lives in India
Teck Resources and UNICEF Canada have entered into a new partnership to save the lives of vulnerable children in India. The five year program under the Zinc Alliance for Children’s Health (ZACH) will improve access to zinc supplementation and oral rehydration salts (ORS) to treat diarrhea while strengthening health care systems and improving supply chains across the country.
More children under the age of five die in India than anywhere else in the world. One of the leading causes of these deaths is diarrhea.
Zinc supplements, combined with oral rehydration salts, are proven and cost effective treatments of diarrhea yet less than 2 per cent of Indian children have access to these life-saving therapies.
The cost of treatment is very low – less than 40 cents will save a child’s life. But zinc and ORS are inaccessible for the majority of Indian children and even when zinc is available, lack of knowledge about its effectiveness among health workers and the community is another barrier to its use.
Reaching Every Child
This new program with Teck will scale up these treatments in three states - Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh – where more than 150,000 children die from diarrhea each year.
The goal of the program is to save 100,000 children’s lives between 2013 - 2017 and 50,000 lives annually going forward by improving vulnerable children’s access to zinc and ORS.
The program will also educate health workers and communities on the effectiveness and use of zinc and ORS while strengthening the local supply chain to ensure these treatments are accessible for even the hardest to reach children.
UNICEF, the largest UN organization in India, has been working in the country since 1949. With support from partners such as Teck, and working closely with the national and state governments of India, UNICEF aims to give every child born in this vast and complex country a chance to get the best start in life.
Nearly one quarter of all children who die under the age of five live in India. Many of these deaths are preventable through cost-effective and proven solutions like zinc and ORS. By focusing on three of the most-affected regions in India, this partnership between Teck and UNICEF will help save the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Zinc Alliance for Children’s Health
The Zinc Alliance for Child Health is a movement of Canadian organizations committed to accelerating the use of zinc and oral rehydration salts around the world to treat diarrhea, one of the leading killers of children.