One of the leading causes of diarrhea is human contact with pathogen-rich feces. Of particular concern are toddlers (ages 2-6) who generally defecate openly as they are not "potty-trained". Care providers (mothers and older siblings) are often responsible for cleaning toddlers' bottoms and cleaning up the feces of toddlers who openly defecate. This is a health risk, especially in areas where hand washing is poorly practiced and where sanitation services are under-developed.
The challenge is to eliminate this health risk by overcoming the problem of open-defecation by toddlers, instilling sound sanitation practices throughout the family and broader community, and increasing hand washing. School sanitation combined with a children's household toilet program that will reduce incidences of diarrhea by eliminating open defecation by toddlers, increasing hand washing and facilitating household upgrades of latrines will help solve this problem in the communities.
The project will lead to 100% sanitation coverage and measurably reduce diarrhea in 2 Traditional Authorities in 1 District (Blantyre) in Malawi. About 20 000 toddlers between the age of 3 to 12 will benefit from the project and 26 000 families will also benefit from the project. the project will reduce incidences of diarrhea by eliminating open defecation by toddlers, increasing hand washing and facilitation household upgrades of latrines in the communities.