World toilet day was an initiative that was started by the united nations (UN), to achieve their sustainability goals of ensuring that all international communities have access to toilets by 2030. Many of you may think are toilets really such a big deal? It is a basic right for humans to have access to clean water and sanitation. Currently 2.4 billion people are living without a toilet! It is not a number that many of you may not expect, however, this is the reality. We would like to raise awareness on this subject as it is a major issue in India.

Did you know? 1 in 10 people have to defecate out in the open.

Poor sanitation and dirty water can cause diarrhoea and other diseases. Many children are affected by these diseases, killing 315,000 children annually. Approximately, 17% of all workplace deaths occur due to improper sanitation and hygiene practices, according to the international labour organisation. These improper conditions cause the transmission of most of the infectious diseases. Poor hygiene and sanitation cause diseases, which can affect approximately 5% of a country’s GDP.

What encompasses poor sanitation?

Poor sanitation can be described by the following:

  • Presence of bucket latrines, pit latrines where defection occurs in a hole in the ground without any slabs or platforms.
  • Defecating in open areas like fields or bushes.
  • Disposing water in water bodies like lakes and rivers used for drinking.
  • Poor facilities for storing water and food.

What can you do to improve basic hygiene and sanitation?

It is essential to maintain hygiene and sanitation. Nearly 2 in 5 people around the world face this issue, so we urge you to help raise awareness this world toilet day. It may help to follow these suggestions yourself or tell others that are not aware, to follow them. Here are some ways to improve this problem:

  • Frequently washing hands with soap after using the toilet
  • Take a bath and wash your face frequently
  • Disposing faeces and urine safely
  • Garbage collection facilities, waste management and waste-water treatment should be used
  • Presence of piped sewer system so human excreta is separated from human contact
  • Presence of a septic tank
  • Boiling water before drinking water can kill most of the germs that cause infectious diseases

Many of you may not have known that so much thought goes into planning a toilet. We take these facilities for granted. However, we urge you to think about the need for these basic necessities to all people on our planet. Support World Toilet Day, cause everyone has the right to one!

If you have any further hygiene or sanitation related questions, Ask a Doctor from our website. If you want to consult experienced doctors Sign Up on our website or download our App.