When disaster strikes, International Medical Corps is the premier organization that responds; often arriving within 24 hours and staying as long as it’s needed. Founded in 1984, the global first responder delivers emergency medical and related services to those affected by conflict, disaster and disease, no matter where they are, no matter what the conditions. It also trains people in their communities, providing them with the skills they need to recover, chart their own path to self-reliance and become effective first responders themselves. 

Here at DripDrop, our mission is to defeat life-threatening dehydration at home and abroad. We partner with best-in-class organizations like International Medical Corps to quickly and efficiently get dehydration relief to those who need it most. Since 2018, we've been donating sticks of DripDrop ORS to International Medical Corps to provide dehydration relief to Ebola patients and medical workers fighting to save lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Here, we'll look at why oral rehydration solutions, like DripDrip ORS, rank among the top five items requested during disasters. We'll show you how International Medical Corps uses DripDrop ORS during natural disasters and humanitarian crises when lives are on the line. And we'll explain why DripDrop ORS is a health essential you'll want to include in your emergency kit.

Why ORS is One of the Top 5 Critical Supply Items Requested During Disasters

During global emergencies, critical infrastructure damage in disaster zones limits access to clean water sources. Additionally, IV shortages are extremely common, and those available are reserved for life-threatening situations. For this reason, oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS rank amongst the primary first-aid items requested by ministries of health and the National Guard during critical emergencies. 

Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are medically-balanced glucose-electrolyte mixtures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to treat dehydration. ORS — like DripDrop ORS— are a proven alternative to IV therapy for the treatment of mild and moderate dehydration. When a person loses more fluids than they take in due to illness, excessive heat and perspiration, their body becomes dehydrated. When in a state of dehydration, no amount of water will do. Only a precise ratio of sodium and glucose enables the body to absorb and maintain proper fluid balance.

The patented formula of DripDrop ORS provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization's oral rehydration solution (ORS) standards because of its delicious taste. The result is a medically viable ORS that also tastes so good even children love to drink it. 

International Medical Corps Depends on DripDrop ORS When Lives Are on the Line

In response to an Ebola outbreak that began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2018, International Medical Corps established treatment centers to care for those infected and help stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal, disease that poses a serious threat to local residents and healthcare professionals working in the area. And the global COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the situation further.

When a patient has Ebola, there is an increased loss of water and electrolytes expelled through vomit, sweat, urine and breathing. When these losses are not replaced adequately, a deficiency of liquids and electrolytes develops in the body. Patients often arrive for treatment after suffering substantial loss of fluids, which cannot be quickly addressed if there is a lack of available ORS at the health facility.

International Medical Corps depends on oral rehydration solutions, such as DripDrop ORS, during such critical moments to rehydrate Ebola patients and help prevent their conditions from worsening.

As a general rule, a treatment is only as effective as a patient's willingness to take it. As a medically viable ORS that actually tastes good, DripDrop ORS largely solves this problem, which can significantly enhance the possibility of treatment adherence—particularly in children.

DripDrop ORS Fuels International Medical Corps Teams In the Field

DripDrop ORS is also used to support the dehydration needs of medical professionals helping during the emergency. These vital volunteers work long hours in harsh environments, with limited access to clean water. Because Ebola is a highly infectious disease, healthcare workers often don full PPE in sweltering conditions to reduce exposure risk.

While lifesaving, this gear—combined with excessive heat and perspiration—can lead to dehydration. Having an ORS like DripDrop ORS on hand re-energizes staff and keeps them healthy and available to provide high-quality care for their patients. 

Dehydration of as little as 1% can impair physical performance and mental acuity. International Medical Corps’ medical teams are supplied with "jump-bags" containing pre-packed emergency supplies such as DripDrop ORS—so when they deploy, they're outfitted with what they need. Our portable medical-grade packets help provide dehydration relief to these practitioners, ensuring their work is not hampered by dehydration symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and muscle cramps.

International Medical Corps Includes DripDrop ORS in Essential-Care Kits

International Medical Corps provides ORS, such as DripDrop ORS, in healthcare facilities where community members are provided with education, treatment, and screening for Ebola. Providing an ORS is one of the tools used to inspire trust in healthcare facilities and bring an end to the outbreak. 

Additionally, International Medical Corps provides critical-care emergency kits containing basic necessities—including DripDrop ORS—to victims in crisis areas. These kits contain essential items like water tablets, toothbrushes, an ORS such as DripDrop, and more. 

According to Machozi, a nurse manager with International Medical Corps in the DRC, "This ORS is very important, tastes good and is popular among all age-groups." Machozi and other health facility staff have noted that many patients ask for DripDrop ORS by name because it is preferred over homemade ORS. He added that DripDrop ORS is straightforward and easy; even illiterate patients can mix and administer it independently.

Impact in Action: DripDrop ORS is Helping Save Lives

DripDrop's donation of 55,000 sticks of ORS to International Medical Corps has helped both patients and health facility staff stave off dehydration and replenish electrolytes in the DRC, which has been essential in the battle against Ebola as well as COVID-19. DripDrop's donations have improved fluid intake in outbreak zones and contributed to improved health outcomes. 

Dehydration from Ebola is the most common cause of mortality in infected areas of the DRC. But It can be treated cheaply and effectively in all age groups by using an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. Because maintaining hydration plays a vital role in overall health, DripDrop ORS has also been utilized to prevent dehydration in patients with various diarrheal diseases, waterborne illnesses, and more.

International Medical Corps continues to hold fast to its mission to build the capacity of the communities it serves and to deliver emergency medical and related services, no matter what the conditions. Here at DripDrop, we share its unyielding commitment to improving the lives of others by defeating life-threatening dehydration around the globe.

When You Stick to Your Mission, We Stick to Ours

You never know when disaster will strike—and during emergencies, the risk of dehydration is elevated. Water might be in short supply. And variables like physical and emotional stress, extreme heat, or less-than-ideal sanitation during disaster conditions can increase dehydration risk.

The next time you’re stocking your emergency supply kit or medical supplies, be sure to include an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. It can be the difference between needing professional medical assistance or keeping calm and carrying on.

Every purchase of DripDrop ORS enables us to donate sticks to elite, boots-on-the-ground organizations such as International Medical Corps. With your support, together with our incredible partners, we will continue to provide urgently needed dehydration relief fast where and when it matters most.