Toilets are a basic human necessity, but almost 4.5 billion people worldwide do not have proper toilet systems available to them. In India, toilets are so important that they are asked for as wedding presents instead of jewellry or money. In fact, there have been many cases where brides will reject the proposal if toilets are not readily available at their suitors’ homes. According to CBS, almost 2,000 children die each day from diarrhoea related diseases because they lack proper toilet systems. This is a scary and worrying fact, especially when considering Malaysia’s own population is only 31.62 million people. Initial Hygiene, in conjunction with World Toilet Day 2018, is committed to improve washroom hygiene in Malaysia and highlight the impact of improper sanitation practices to the public.
World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day falls annually on the 19th of November, with a goal of spreading awareness on the importance of proper toilet and sanitation systems as well as provide these systems to all by 2030. This year’s theme focuses on sanitation systems that work in harmony with our current ecosystems. With the number of people who lack proper toilet facilities, we are turning our environment into an open sewer.
Why Is It Important
Toilets have a huge impact on daily life, work productivity, and the economy. However, many of us forget to appreciate or abuse toilets. While most might overlook toilets, they are a basic need that all humans have and is necessary to keep us safe. Here are a few instances where toilets play a huge part in keeping us safe:
Currently, approximately 1.8 billion people use a source of water that has no protection against contamination from human faeces. Contaminated water harbours germs such as E.coli, Vibrio Cholerae and fecal coliform which can cause fever, cholera and diarrhea. Furthermore, over 80% of wastewater has been found to flow back into our environment without being treated or reused. This issue is further aggravated by the fact that many states in Malaysia face water shortages. Without toilets, water-borne diseases would be rampant across Malaysia, affecting our health and that of our loved ones.
Proper toilet systems are essential to fostering a proper environment for educating our children. However, one-fifth of schools worldwide do not provide any toilet facilities. Applying this statistic to Malaysia, we have approximately 10,000 government schools which would translate to 2,000 schools not having proper toilet facilities. This is particular issue for girls during menstruation. Improper feminine hygiene practices can cause painful and life-threatening infections such as urinary tract infections (UTI) or toxic shock. The lack of proper toilet and sanitation facilities not only endangers children healthwise, but physically as well. A case study done in India indicates lack of proper toilets forces children to openly defecate, which puts them at risk of being attacked, raped or murdered. Safe toilets keep our children safe from both health hazards and bodily harm.
The connection between toilets and the economy may be hard to see for many but improper sanitation systems can greatly impact our country’s economy on a large scale. Globally, it was found that loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices caused a lost of 5% GDP. This would cost Malaysia approximately RM66 billion per year. The lack of proper hygiene and sanitation practices in the washroom can cause diseases and infections to spread, which increases absenteeism and causes loss in productivity.
Proper toilet sanitation is essential to human life, protecting us from harmful infections and creates proper environments to maintain productivity. Initial is committed to continuously raising hygiene standards to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Malaysians. Practicing proper hygiene and sanitation procedures as well as providing hygiene facilities can help ensure your loved ones and your businesses are protected.
Contact us at 1300-882-388 for Initial Hygiene Services or visit our campaign's website to find out more about World Toilet Day.