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Dehydration from diarrhoea is one of the major causes of death in young children worldwide.The prevalence of diarrhoea overall in Malawi is estimated at 17.5 % with 38 % in children 6-12 months.

The 2010 DHS shows a higher percentage of reported cases without access to improved drinking water and sanitation. In 60% of cases treatment was sought from a formal health provider, and 24.2% of children under six months reportedly did not receive any treatment at all18.

The BoD19 assessment calculates that the number of episodes of acute diarrhoea in children under five years of age is over 13 million per year, and yet the health service treated only 324,000 in 2010.