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Objectives: Diarrhoeal diseases (DDs) constitute public health problem. Reduction in related mortality and morbidity hinges on active participation of home caregivers. It is pertinent to determine the degree of their empowerment.Design: Cross-sectional study.Setting: Randomly selected community primary health centres in northwestern Nigerian.Subjects: Home caregivers presenting with children aged 1–59 months having DD. Outcome measures: Knowledge, attitude and practice regards home management of DD.Results: Less than 1% of caregivers was knowledgeable about home management of DD. Antibiotics and anti-diarrhoeal agents use was common at 36%. ORS use was abysmally low at 8.6%. Only 32% of caregivers were aware of the use of zinc in the management of DD. Adherence to 10-day zinc supplementation was encouraging at 75.5%.Conclusion: There is an urgent need to scale up educational and promotional activities with regards to the home management of DD if the millennium development goals are to be met.