Navigation Links
Cleaning Up the World's Sanitation

UN initiative seeks to halve by 2015 the number of people without toilet access

THURSDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) Sanitation pays: For every dollar spent installing toilets in developing countries, there would be a $9 return in productivity, health and other benefits, according to a UN report released today.

The UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation seeks to halve by 2015 the number of people worldwide who don't have access to a toilet. The estimated cost of the program is $38 billion, less than one percent of annual global military spending. But that $38 billion investment would yield $347 billion worth of net benefits, according to the UN.

For example, meeting the MDG target for sanitation would increase productivity and add 3.2 billion annual working days worldwide. Universal access to toilets around the world would add more than four times as many working days, the report found.

Currently, about 2.6 billion people (more than one-third of Earth's population) lack access to adequate sanitation. Every day, each of those people spends a total of about 30 minutes waiting in line to use a public toilet or seeking a secluded location to relieve themselves. Over one month, that adds up to the equivalent of two working days, the UN said.

The lack of adequate sanitation also leads to lost workdays due to diarrheal disease - either because workers themselves are sick or because they have to stay home to care for a sick child or relative. In addition, many women don't go to work when they're menstruating because their workplaces have no toilets.

Globally, about 200 million tons of human waste and millions of tons of wastewater are discharged uncontained and untreated into waterways every year. This exposes people to disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites, which cause diarrheal disease, parasitic infections, worm infestations, and the eye disease trachoma.

Diarrheal disease (including dysentery and cholera) is a leading cause of death (1.8 million a year) and illness. About 5,000 children die of diarrheal disease each day and hundreds of millions of other children suffer reduced growth physical growth and impaired cognitive function due to intestinal worms.

Together, poor hygiene and lack of access to sanitation contribute to 88 percent of all deaths from diarrheal disease, according to the UN.

Meeting the MDG sanitation target would save $552 million a year worldwide in disease treatment costs. Meeting the target would also boost children's school attendance and provide a number of economic benefits for communities, such as infrastructure development.

In addition, health, safety and comfort standards for sanitation (along with aesthetic considerations) can also have a major influence on tourists' choice of destinations, the UN noted.

Currently, the areas with the least access to improved sanitation are West and Central Africa (36 percent coverage), South Asia (37 percent), and Eastern and Southern Africa (38 percent). Of the 2.6 billion people who don't have access to improved sanitation, two billion (77 percent) live in rural areas.

More information

The World Health Organization has more about sanitation and health.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: United Nations, news release, March 20, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Smart Home Cleaning: New Web Site Educates Consumers on Looking Clean Versus Being Clean
2. Audio from Medialink and GlaxoSmithKline: Cleaning House ... Overhaul Your Fridge and Pantry to Lose Weight
3. New Cleaning Industry Topics Page Provides Important Safety and Health Resources
4. Spate of Staph Infections Highlight the Need for Thorough, Consistent Cleaning Regimen at Home, at School and at Work
5. Cleaning Hands, Saving Lives: The Spread of Staph Can Be Stopped
6. Key Cleaning Solutions Products Utilized to Combat Community Acquired - MRSA (CA-MRSA) Are Succeeding In Killing Superbugs Where Normal Cleaning Practices and Products Are Not
7. Specimens in BODY WORLDS Exhibitions Stem Primarily from German Body Donation Program
8. The Institute for Plastination Responds to the Bishop of Manchesters Media Blitz, Assertions, and Allegations About BODY WORLDS Anatomical Exhibition Coming to Manchester
9. Museum Open Around the Clock - BODY WORLDS 2 and The Tech Host 40 Hour Marathon!
10. BODY WORLDS 3 & The Story of the Heart Opens at the California Science Center, March 14, 2008
11. BODY WORLDS 2 & Breathe California Pair Up for Some Ash Kicking
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cleaning Up the World's Sanitation
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Turks & Caicos Islands has ... leading digital news sites highlighting Caribbean destinations, has published five reasons to visit the ... North America shivers under chilly grey skies or worse, it's typically a balmy 80 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Jones as a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year ... is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BALTIMORE, Md. (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... be rewarding, but also extremely stressful. At the VA Maryland Health Care ... who care for veterans patients. “Caregivers have a difficult job. Seventy-four percent ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Stress, anxiety, illness, infection or even a need for eyeglasses ... Heather Spader, MD, a new pediatric neurosurgeon at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, ... tumors. , “Bad headaches that don’t go away, that don’t have any ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... The directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. , ... and trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... December 1, 2015 ... adds "Endometriosis - Pipeline Review, H2 2015" ... on therapeutic pipeline of Endometriosis and helps ... counter strategies to gain competitive advantage. It ... and MOAs to produce first-in-class and best-in-class ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX ... , Chief Financial Officer, will be presenting ... December 8 at 2:45 pm Eastern Time.  ... Westin Grand Central Hotel in New York.  ... meetings at this conference; interested institutional investors ...
(Date:11/30/2015)...   Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG ; ... Solutions, a fully integrated, consultative approach to enhance ... practice management approaches that combine imaging systems, services, ... care delivery and reduce costs. Making its debut ... America Annual Meeting (RSNA) in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: