CeraLyte is a rice-based oral rehydration solution that is key component in travel health kits used by international travelers across the globe, but, for some in the Ebola ravaged regions of Liberia and Sierra Leone, it might become a life-saver.
Cera Products, the producer of CeraLyte, has donated over 17 tons of its product to the humanitarian organization Direct Relief in hopes that it will help keep Ebola patients from suffering from dehydration or shock to give them a better chance at overcoming the deadly disease.
The specific product that was sent, CeraLyte-70 ORS, is designed to be used with vomiting and diarrhea, two of the main symptoms of Ebola. The rice-based product provides many other benefits across all of its variants including: replacing fluid loss, reducing future fluid loss by as much as 30%, and helping in the absorption of oral medicines.
One of the biggest constraints to controlling the Ebola outbreak in the West African region has been the limited number of medical personnel available to assist in treatment of the disease. With this in mind, Cera Products chose to send pre-made solution which could easily be handed out to drink just like Gatorade or any other product.
“We sent ready to drink, as it would be easier to administer than powder,” said Charlene Riikonen, the president and CEO of Cera Products over e-mail. “[Powder] needs to be mixed with water, and we don’t know their water situation there.”
Riikonen says that while the company does not currently have any plans to send more rehydration solutions to Africa through Direct Relief, it is possible that it will get there through other means.
“We may be sending more, but will wait to see what is needed, and the US military may be ordering some to take and some to distribute as well.”
What Cera Products has given is just the latest donation that Direct Relief has received. Since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa began, the organization has sent more than $6 million worth of goods to the region in hopes of treating people already exhibiting symptoms and protecting those that have yet to become infected.