According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), children around the world miss an estimated 443 million school days each year because of diseases caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices, including using unsanitary toilets.
Simply put, this number of sick days is equivalent to all grade school and high school classrooms in the Philippines being empty for one month. This sanitation-related concern hinders the children’s learning and significantly reduces their quality of life.
Illnesses due to poor toilet sanitation include diarrhoeal disease and parasitic worm infections which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, physical and mental stunting, and death. Every day, millions of children in rural communities and urban households nationwide are exposed to these health problems by using dirty toilets populated by disease-carrying germs.
According to Dr. Luisa Efren of the Philippine Public Health Association (PPHA), the simple act of proper toilet sanitation can help prevent the spread of these germs. However, children continue to be at risk from these deadly diseases because many households still use ordinary laundry bleach to clean their toilet bowls, which is not enough to kill all toilet germs.