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Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that the use of oral rehydra3on therapy (ORT) for the treatment of dehydra3on can prevent death in young children from watery diarrhea in all but the most severe cases. Since the early 1980s, the use of ORT has become standard prac3ce in the medical community throughout the developing world, which has likely played a significant role in the global reduc3on of deaths from diarrhea. However, the large number of deaths from diarrhea that s3ll exists today indicates that the use of ORT is not standard prac3ce in many households in poor countries. This paper seeks to understand the gap between the widespread knowledge of the high efficacy of ORT among policymakers and other stakeholders in healthcare, and the actual usage rates of ORT in rural households. Using an original dataset from rural Burkina Faso, we examine the mechanisms driving health‐seeking behaviors in the household as they relate to young children and diarrhea, with an emphasis on prac3ces concerning the use of ORT.

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