Toilets for Health

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This paper is a contribution to the efforts to address the sanitation crisis. It summarises the evidence of the scale of the problem, points to the potential benefits of addressing the crisis and gives clear and actionable recommendations for all those who can help find a solution.

Although some progress has been made since the 1990s, 1 billion people still practice open defecation. Studies show the number of people relying on shared sanitation facilities has actually increased from 6% of the global population in 1990 to 11% at present, equating to approximately 762 million people, 60% of whom live in urban areas. Shared or communal sanitation facilities are often unclean, inaccessible, poorly managed,and pose a particular risk to women who often experience sexual harassment when using the facilities.

This overview of the sanitation crisis and the related burden of disease in developing countries shows that interventions in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector are the most effective ways to address morbidity and mortality, however its importance in developing countries is overseen.


  • Geographical Disparities
  • Socio-economic Inequalties
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Why Toilets Matter
  • The Burden of Disease
  • Child Malnutrition

See also

We Can’t Wait: a report on sanitation and hygiene for women and girls
World Toilet Day
SWASH+ (Sustaining and Scaling School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Plus)

External links