In order for Malawi to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4, to reduce child mortality by two-thirds before 2015, this report addresses the issue of diarrheal disease by examining the current policy environment in Malawi. By using the UNICEF/WHO seven-point plan for diarrheal disease control as the guiding document, the group identified current strengths and weaknesses, and then collaborated to agree on a set of recommended steps to help re-prioritize diarrheal disease control. The recommendations emerging from this report describe a detailed path for a way forward towards ownership, accountability, and sustainability for diarrhea control efforts in Malawi.
- In Malawi, an estimated 11% of deaths in children under five years of age are caused by diarrhea.
- No institution in Malawi has ownership for the overall issue of diarrheal disease control, and there is no overall accountability in place.
- Five key challenges identified to prioritizing diarrhea: 1) the current profile of diarrheal disease in national priorities, 2) the implementation of effective policies, 3) collaboration and integration of programs, 4) lack of scale-up for effective programs, and 5) insufficient information, education, and communication regarding diarrheal disease control.
- Malawi can overcome their current diarrheal disease challenges with appropriate resources, proper attention, and buy-in from stakeholders.