Annual Observance Helps Focus on Global Sanitation Issues

World Toilet Day is Nov. 19, 2010, and helping to break the taboo associated with talking about toilet-related issues is the World Toilet Organization (WTO), a global non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.

There is a significant lack of hygiene in the world currently -- according to UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 2.5 billion people worldwide are without access to proper sanitation, which risks their health, strips their dignity, and kills 1.8 million people, mostly children, a year. Diarrheal diseases kill five times as many children in the developing world as HIV/AIDS.

Not only that, but the disease kills more children than either malaria or AIDS, stunts growth, and forces millions -- adults and children alike -- to spend weeks at a time off work or school, which hits both a country's economy and its citizens' chances of a better future. The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter, and lack of sanitation is the world's biggest cause of infection. One gram of feces can contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs. Safe disposal of children's feces leads to a reduction of nearly 40 percent in childhood diarrhea.

For more information from the WTO, CLICK HERE.