Addis Ababa February 20/2013The Ministry of Health in collaboration with Canadian partners on Tuesday launched a three-year project, "Zinc Alliance for Child Health" (ZACH-Ethiopia) with 3.5 million dollars fund to save young lives from diarrhea, a condition that can be deadly if untreated.
The Ministry will implement the project in collaboration with Canadian partners, Micronutrient Initiative and Tech today as well as the Government of Canada.
Senior Advisor at the Office of the Minister, Dr. Firew Lemma on the occasion said the project will scale up the use of zinc and ORS to treat diarrhea.
Dr. Firew said training has been provided to 25,000 health extension workers in a bid to enabling them give the treatment to those in need at 12,000 health stations across the country.
A research conducted in 2011shows that Ethiopia has managed to reduce child mortality by 28 percent, he said, adding, 14 percent of the decrease in mortality realized because of the use of zinc and ORS as a treatment for diarrhea.
Micronutrient Initiative Africa Deputy Director, Dr. Abdulaziz Adish on his part said ZACH Ethiopia project will help to support Ethiopia's efforts to achieve the MDGs.
ZACH Ethiopia is part of a 20 million dollars Global ZACH commitment from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Tech and Micronutrient Initiative to scale up zinc programming in at least five countries.
The project in Ethiopia is focused on increasing awareness that diarrhea is a serious childhood illness as well as increasing the demand for zinc and ORS as the treatment of choice for childhood diarrhea.
The project will concentrate on social marketing efforts to increase the number of caregivers, who will seek treatment for diarrhea using zinc and low osmolarity ORS and to ensure it is used properly.
ZACH Ethiopia will scale up the use of zinc supplementation and ORS to treat diarrhea across the country with the goal of treating 6.5 million cases by 2015, according to a release issued by the partners.