Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Potty humor highlights global health issue on Toilet Day

Sandwiched between think-tank lecture notices and State Department press advisories was an email today from the United Nations that announced the speakers' lineup for its "commemorative event for World Toilet Day."
Yes, today is World Toilet Day.
And while jokes abound on social media (where people are showing off their thrones under #CheckOutMyToilet), the health issue behind the event is no laughing matter for international activists. The World Toilet Day website explains:
World Toilet Day is not just about toilet humor, or an attempt to make toilets sexy. World Toilet Day has a serious purpose: it aims to stimulate dialogue about sanitation and break the taboo that still surrounds this issue. In addition, it supports advocacy that highlights the profound impact of the sanitation crisis in a rigorous manner, and seeks to bring to the forefront the health and emotional consequences, as well as the economic impact of inadequate sanitation.  
According to the UN, some 2.5 billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation, and more than 1 billion practice open defecation - a problem that contributes to countless deaths from preventable diseases. Each year, the UN says, more than 800,000 children under 5 die from diarrhea, many of them because of poor sanitation..Read more...

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