11 Reasons To Give A Shit That It’s World Toilet Day

The UN has named Nov. 19 World Toilet Day, to highlight the health and economic problems developing countries face without proper sanitation. Studies show that lack of access to adequate sanitation in developing regions has dire consequences, negatively effecting health, education, and economic activity.

Everybody poos. But for some it has far more of a daily consequence. So here are 11 facts appropriate for dinner discussion:

1. Around the world 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation.


The World Health Organization defines improved sanitation as facilities that hygienically separate human excreta from human contact.

2. Open defecation is practiced by 1 billion people worldwide.

3. A gram of human feces can contain 10 million viruses and 1 billion bacteria.

4. Nearly 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die every year from diarrhea globally.


Diarrhea also makes children more vulnerable to malnutrition and other infections.

5. In Subsaharan Africa, 69% of the population does not have access to improved sanitation.

6. In India, over 600 million people, or more than 50% of Indian households, do not have access to a toilet or latrine to defecate.

7. Globally, 43% of people living in rural areas lack access to improved sanitation, compared with 27% in urban areas.

8. An estimated 443 million school days are lost each year worldwide due to wash-related diseases.

9. A study in Ethiopia found that more than 50% of girls missed one to four days of school during menstruation.

10. A study in Bangladesh found that 60% of workers used dirty factory rags as menstrual cloths, likely leading to infections that caused 73% of the workforce to miss several works days a month.

11. Investing $1 in sanitation can lead to a $5 return in social and economic development.

This toilet also has something to say.

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