Scaling up zinc treatment of childhood diarrhoea in Bangladesh: Theoretical and practical considerations guiding the SUZY Project

Charles P. Larson*, Tracey Perez Koehlmoos, David A. Sack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In 2003, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), in partnership with the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and the private sector embarked on a national exercise to scale up zinc treatment of childhood diarrhoea as an adjunct to oral rehydration solution (ORS). Private sector participation included national associations representing licensed and unlicensed health care providers, a local pharmaceutical laboratory, a marketing agency and a technology transfer from the European patent holder of the dispersible zinc tablet formulation promoted in the scale-up campaign. This project was a response to several years of research in the preceding decade demonstrating that zinc supplementation during a diarrhoeal illness episode significantly reduces illness severity and duration as well as prevents subsequent morbidity and mortality. It has been estimated that zinc treatment has the potential to annually save nearly 400000 under-5 lives, thus significantly impacting on Millennium Development Goal #4. This paper summarizes the primary coverage outcomes of the Scaling Up of Zinc in Early Childhood (SUZY) Project into its third year (December 2006 to October 2009). These results are assessed in relation to the Project's theoretical foundations and the performance framework that was jointly planned and implemented through a public-private partnership. The scale-up campaign encountered numerous constraints, but also benefited from several facilitating factors which are summarized under an assessment framework developed to identify barriers and better promote the scaling up of key health interventions in low- and middle-income countries. The lessons learned are described with the intent that this will contribute to the more effective scale-up of life-saving interventions that will reach those in greatest need. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-114
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Policy and Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bangladesh
  • Zinc treatment
  • diarrhoea
  • mass media
  • monitoring
  • promotion
  • scaling up


Dive into the research topics of 'Scaling up zinc treatment of childhood diarrhoea in Bangladesh: Theoretical and practical considerations guiding the SUZY Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this