UNICEF oral rehydration salt mixture and measuring spoon, 1981.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Manufactured in Germany, this mixture is used to combat diarrhoea dehydration. In the 1970s an estimated four million children died from diseases like typhoid and cholera that cause dehydration. In 1974 the World Health Organisation set up a diarrhoeal disease control programme, involving the use of oral rehydration sachets like this. They are taken orally, mixed with water, and contain minerals such as sodium, potasium and sugar. However, lack of clean water for mixing is often a problem. The spoon is one of a set of five manufactured for use in Third World Countries. The set consists of five different coloured spoons, each with instructions in a different language written on them.