Toilets For Health
To mark World Toilet Day, the School has produced a comprehensive report on toilets and sanitation
The new report, Toilets For Health is published this week and is available for download below:
Authored by Dr Elisa Roma and Isabelle Pugh, with additional material by Unilever’s Global Hygiene Manager, Carolyn Jones, the report features an introduction by the School's Hygiene Centre Director Dr Val Curtis, who said:
“Despite the scale of the crisis, sanitation remains a low priority for governments and recent efforts to address this fall far short of what is required. Progress depends on adequate investment and collaborative action across developing country and donor governments, civil society, multilateral agencies, academia and the private sector. All parties have an urgent role to play in supporting national efforts to improve access to sanitation for all.”
The report also reveals that the second biggest killer of children worldwide is diarrhoeal diseases.
- Every year, 850,000 children die from diarrhoea; most deaths caused by poor sanitation and unclean water, with children under 5 being the most vulnerable.
- Yet it's not all bad news. After a decade of investment, child mortality, in part due to poor sanitation, has fallen by 29%.
- However, much work is left to be done. Millennium Development Goal (MGD) targets of improved access to safe drinking water are likely to be missed by 2015.
- Meanwhile, 28% of people in rural areas still practise open defecation, compared to only 3% in urban areas. However urban toilets are often difficult to build and hard to empty in the absence of sewage systems.
- Elsewhere, 5.5 billion work days are lost due to disease caused by poor sanitation, and old enemies like dysentery, cholera and typhoid still affect millions.
World Toilet Day celebrates its 12th anniversary this year, with activities including The Public Toilet, pictured left.
The School is also heavily involved in the annual Global Handwashing Day, with the latest piece of relevant research being that one in 10 bank cards and one in seven notes are contaminated with faecal organisms.