Cost-effectiveness of using a social franchise network to increase uptake of oral rehydration salts and zinc for childhood diarrhea in rural Myanmar

Social Franchising Research Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This paper examines the cost-effectiveness of achieving increases in the use of oral rehydration solution and zinc supplementation in the management of acute diarrhea in children under 5 years through social franchising. The study uses cost and outcome data from an initiative by Population Services International (PSI) in 3 townships of Myanmar in 2010 to promote an ORS-Zinc product called ORASEL. Background: The objective of this study was to determine the incremental cost-effectiveness of a strategy to promote ORS-Z use through private sector franchising compared to standard government and private sector practices. Methods: Costing from a societal perspective included program, provider, and household costs for the 2010 calendar year. Program costs including ORASEL program launch, distribution, and administration costs were obtained through a retrospective review of financial records and key informant interviews with staff in the central Yangon office. Household out of pocket payments for diarrheal episodes were obtained from a household survey conducted in the study area and additional estimates of household income lost due to parental care-giving time for a sick child were estimated. Incremental cost-effectiveness relative to status quo conditions was calculated per child death and DALY averted in 2010. Health effects included deaths and DALYs averted; the former modeled based on coverage estimates from a household survey that were entered into the Lives Saved Tool (LiST). Uncertainty was modeled with Monte Carlo methods. Findings: Based on the model, the promotional strategy would translate to 2.85 (SD 0.29) deaths averted in a community population of 1 million where there would be 81,000 children under 5 expecting 48,373 cases of diarrhea. The incremental cost effectiveness of the franchised approach to improving ORASEL coverage is estimated at a median $5,955 (IQR: $3437-$7589) per death averted and $214 (IQR: $127-$287) per discounted DALY averted. Interpretation: Investing in developing a network of private sector providers and keeping them stocked with ORS-Z as is done in a social franchise can be a highly cost-effective in terms of dollars per DALY averted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalCost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 5 2015


  • Burma
  • Cluster randomized trial
  • Costing
  • Myanmar
  • Oral rehydration
  • Private providers
  • Social franchise
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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