World Toilet Day, recognized annually on November 19, "aims to break the taboo around loos and basic hygiene," the Guardian reports. The newspaper continues, "Some 57 countries are seriously off-track to meet the target within Millennium Development Goal [MDG] seven to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation; around 2.5 billion people lack access to a clean toilet" (11/19). "The majority of those without access to a toilet live in sub-Saharan Africa or Asia, with over half of people in Asia not having proper sanitation, according to the U.K.-based charity, WaterAid," CNN writes (Davey-Attlee, 11/19). "Improving these figures, and achieving the [MDG] of halving the number of people without basic sanitation by 2015, needs a change of mindset and strong political will, not financial resources, campaigners say," Inter Press Service reports. The article examines how improving sanitation would help progress on other MDG goals, including reducing child mortality (Agazzi, 11/18).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.