World Sanitation Day

Although it seems a joke on November 19 is celebrated every year on World Toilet Day or as they call kinder manner in United Nations, the World Day of Sanitation. And although in western countries worldwide have access to sanitary conditions, 37 percent of the world’s population lacks adequate sanitation which has led the UN to spend a day on the calendar to show its importance facing the public health.

“Each year more than 800,000 children under 5 die unnecessarily because of diarrhea (more than one child every minute). Countless children fall seriously ill and often long term they are affecting their health and developmental effects. A poor sanitation and hygiene are the main cause. Worldwide, about 2,500 million people do not enjoy the benefits of proper sanitation, “said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General in his message to the World Day of Sanitation 2013.

In fact, for example in India, almost half of the 1,200 million people lack access to a toilet. To get an idea, as explained from the UN, more people have a mobile phone than a toilet. And it is not a trivial problem, far from it. According to the data handled by the organization, 80 percent of diseases in developing countries are caused by unsafe water and inadequate sanitation.

“More than 1,000 million people defecate in the open. Let down the taboos and make sanitation a priority for all global development “has also explained that Ban Ki-moon hopes to end the” open defecation “in 2025. In this regard noted that there is still much work to be performed in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 to reduce by half the proportion of people without adequate sanitation.

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But behind the mood associated with toilets and faeces, there are facts and serious figures clearly show why 100 countries from Afghanistan to Vietnam met a few months ago to adopt resolution enshrining a World Day of official Loo United for the first time in history Nations. Here a figure: 10 million viruses. This is the amount that can be found in only 1 gram of human feces. Here’s another: 2,500 million -The number of people worldwide who still have decent sanitation. Of these, 1,000 million have to resort to what is known as “open defecation”, i.e. defecate in fields, ditches or railroad tracks. Every day, nearly 2,000 million tons of human waste, with a dizzying amount of viruses, bacteria and eggs of potential worms spread by our planet with the risk of being stepped on, touched or ingested through water or food. The consequences are easy to calculate: diarrhea, caused by food, water, and contaminated environment remains the second leading cause in children around the world, which killed 1,800 of them every day. Only pneumonia and respiratory infections are more deadly (incidentally, the World Pneumonia Day is also celebrated in November). Women and girls bear the brunt, as they have to find a safe place to defecate in the dark themes of modesty place, thus risking to rape and animal attacks (in relation to another day of Nations United held in November, focused on violence against women). The fact that children die from something as seemingly trivial as diarrhea, or that girls suffer violations because they are forced to find a place to relieve themselves should not make anyone laugh (the Universal Children’s Day is also in November ).

However, attention and funding allocated to sanitation and diarrhea-easily preventable with proper sanitation, safe water, and good hygiene have been severely reduced in favor of other causes and challenges such as HIV / AIDS. When the Millennium Development Goals were signed in 2000, a set of goals for reducing poverty and improving maternal health and education, among other issues, sanitation was not even mentioned. (To be added to the Johannesburg Summit 2002).

Fortunately, there is much more to celebrate now than 10 years ago. Since 1990, 1,900 million people have gained access to improved sanitation (although with increasing population the number of people who do not yet have has changed very little). On average, 26,000 Africans obtained sanitation every day, and there are 244 million fewer people around the world that no longer defecate outdoors. Also, the sums give better results. The Water and Sanitation World Bank has launched an initiative of the Economics of Sanitation yielding figures that surprise any minister, and under which a country can lose 1.5% of GDP due to costs arising from poor sanitation (economic loss, hospital expenses). Kenya loses US $ 324 million each year, for this reason. For India, the expenditure is US $ 54,000 million (the national GDP of Croatia). But these figures can be viewed from another angle: if we think about how to install adequate sanitation for 2,500 million people, can save US $ 260,000 million annually. The one-dollar investment to install sanitation can save up to five US dollars in economic losses. You can add in many ways, but there is no doubt that it is a bargain.

They are being made more accurate connections between sanitation and other areas and departments. After looking at various research data that sometimes even a quarter of school-age girls stop attending school permanently by the mere fact that lack toilets (usually when the stage of menstruation starts), initiatives to for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools have multiplied. Currently, experts understand that sanitation malnutrition plays a key role in both the problem and the solution. Progress in sanitation solutions can reduce stunting and improve nutrition, economics, and development.