Many of us are fortunate to be born and raised in a hygiene-conscious society. Public toilets and baths are kept clean by dedicated cleaners. Bathrooms are maintained with shower partitions in commercial and residential properties.
But did you know that this is a luxury not enjoyed by everyone? In 2015, about 2.4 billion people did not have access to sanitary toilets, bringing about problems in society. These problems are the same challenges we’d face if all of us didn’t have toilets.
In India, diarrhea affects hundreds of children every day, and almost 400 of them die. This illness is associated with poor sanitation and hygiene, which is caused by the lack of accessible clean toilets.
This was the case hundreds of years ago when the toilet we’ve come to know now was not yet invented. People’s poop would go to sewers, the sewers run to the rivers, the drinking water is from the river, and you know what happens next. Cholera was one of the top killers in ancient times.
Other diseases caused by dirty water were also rampant, which forced concerned individuals to invent the sewage system. If there were no sanitary toilets today, death by diarrhea and other water-borne diseases would probably be more prevalent.
Nobody wants to work in an office without a toilet where they can “do their business”. If we decide to go ahead and work and just ignore the urge to go while at the office, it may lead to health complications. Holding your poop in may harden stool over time. When a stool is hard, defecating is difficult as well, which may cause fissures on our anus.
Aside from anal fissures, holding in your bowel frequently may also lead to loss of sensation, which means we no longer know when we’re supposed to go. All of these translate to one thing: sick leave.
More privacy issues
Several years ago in Rome, people would use communal toilet spaces. At that time, these communal toilets don’t have partitions and doors. Men and women would squat there and do their business.
Although we don’t know if harassments as a result of defecating publicly occurred in those times, we are sure that it would happen today if the same scenario exists in our communal toilets. Aside from that, Live Science reports that in places where a sanitary toilet is far away, people need to travel just to take a dump. This puts some people, especially women, in danger of sexual harassment.
The information above proves that a toilet is an indispensable part of our society. And it’s not just any toilet. It should be a sanitary and functioning one. Without it, we would be experiencing more problems that we can imagine, not to mention its economic impact.
Toilets play a significant role in our lives. They provide us with the convenience that was not enjoyed by other people in the past or in some remote places. This is probably the reason the readers of the British Medical Journal voted modern sanitation as one of the greatest inventions of mankind.