Worldwide, 2.3 billion people live without basic sanitation facilities even though the number of people gaining access to improved sanitation has risen from 54% to 68% since 1990. 335 million women and girls in India defecate in the open without much relief from the Swacch Bharat Mission, although India ranks among the top ten nations in taking effective measures to improve access to basic sanitation.
Sanitation & Health
World Toilet Day is celebrated on November 19th every year to improve public health, dignity and safety of people. We use toilets ever day at home, school and work, but still 40% of the world’s population does not have this luxury. Clean and safe toilets are more than just a place to defecate-they are integral for health, human dignity and education. Open toilets pave way for public health crisis in the form of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid fever. Read more on the relationship between poor health hygiene and increased hepatitis rates at www.firsteatright.com.
Diarrhea remains as the major contributor of deaths due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene. Countries that defecate in the open have the highest number of deaths of children aged below 5 years as well as the highest number of malnutrition and poverty.
According to WHO, 19% of health care facilities in low- and middle-income countries lack improved sanitation which is essential to:
To provide sanitation facilities for everyone, we need to contain, transport, treat and dispose each individual’s poo in a safe and sustainable way. This, combined with safe water and good hygiene can help us prevent around 842,000 deaths annually.
The World Toilet Day campaign reaches out to millions of people through social media, websites and other channels in creating awareness on using enclosed toilets and refraining from open defecation. Civil societies, think-tanks, non-government organizations, academics and corporations work on the theme of the year to create social awareness through pamphlets, shows, discussions etc.
WHO along with UNICEF has taken up the goal of providing universal access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities and homes by 2030.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.