Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Toilet sanitation: A major health hurdle in the Philippines
Last April 8, 2014, Unilever Phils. in cooperation with the Dept. of Health and the Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel once again promotes toilet sanitation with their move to educate , teach and help the nation to be more sanitize in every homes toilet and the public entities as well as they launch DOMEX “1000 Clean Toilets movement Saving Lives , One at a time.” And this I believe is one step to making us as a nation really grow and achieve economic growth by having our public toilets more comfortable and more safe to be used by our own people and foreign guests as well.
With the start of summer vacation, Filipinos are already trooping to malls and other recreational facilities to cool off the summer heat. While commercial centers provide facilities that offer convenience, a greater number of establishments do not have basic facilities like clean toilets to cater to the needs of customers and visitors.
A joint monitoring report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization reveals that 26% of Filipino households do not have toilets. UNICEF WASH Specialist Dr. Mike Gnilo said it is imperative to address the country’s lack of clean toilets. “More than 8% of these households practice open defecation which threatens water resources. In some communities, toilets are also shared by more than a dozen families which make them harder to maintain.”
To compound the problem, over 90% of households do not practice proper toilet hygiene and sanitation. Many residents and sanitation managers clean toilets using only detergents and thin bleaches which do not kill disease-spreading germs.
Domex, the leading household cleaning brand in the country, has partnered with UNICEF and the Philippine Public Health Association (PPHA) to advocate the 1 Million Clean Toilets Movement, a campaign that educates the public on the health impacts of germ-free toilets and secures one million pledges from households, government agencies and private corporations to conscientiously maintain clean, safe, and hygienic bathrooms.
“A number of the country’s public toilets are in need of cleaning and maintenance. These include inaccessible restrooms in parks, museums, commercial centers and tourist destinations,” said PPHA Director Maluh Orezca during a Bulong Pulungan media forum at Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City.
“We at Domex believe that prompt action against diarrheal diseases, unclean toilets and unsanitary toilet practices can significantly decrease health risks and improve lives,” said Jay Go, marketing director for Unilever Home Care, noting that in the Philippines, more than 2,000 children under five die annually from diarrhea as a result of germ-infested toilets that contaminate water resources.
To raise awareness on diarrheal diseases and their prevention, Domex will conduct activities throughout the year to educate and train households on proper toilet sanitation. These will also show the advantages of using a dedicated toilet-cleaning agent such as Domex in disinfecting the toilet and preventing the spread of disease-causing germs.
Full force against diarrheal diseases
In line with the objectives of its 1 Million Clean Toilets Movement, Domex partners with establishments for massive cleanup and information drives. Kicking off the campaign is a series of restroom cleanup activities at Shell NLEX/SLEX stations throughout the Holy Week and summer months, a tie-up with major hospitals such as Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital for information dissemination and other activities, as well as partnerships with dining establishments to further reinforce their commitment to public health through proper toilet sanitation.
Along with the cleanup rounds, Domex will educate the public on ways to clean their household toilet properly through various media platforms. These will serve as references for those who are interested to learn about the fight against diarrheal diseases.
These activities will culminate with the World Toilet Day celebrations in November where Domex hopes to garner 1 million clean toilet pledges from households, government agencies and private institutions. Unilever Philippines hopes to add this number to their envisioned 1 Billion Better Lives by 2020, in their thrust to create improved, sustainable living around the globe.