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Open defecation is when people have no choice but to defecate outside onto the ground, and in full view of other people.
1 billion people are forced to practice open defecation around the world.
It causes cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio, diarrhoea, worm infestation, reduced physical growth, impaired cognitive function and undernutrition.
Yet, nobody talks about it.
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Open defecation. Unthinkable in 85% of the world. The only option in the other 15%.
It is one of the clearest indications of the global sanitation crisis.
Every day children drink water that has mixed with their neighbours’ faeces.
A child dies every 2.5 minutes.
Diarrhoea is the third biggest killer of children under five years old in
This year, it will infect 44 million pregnant women with worms.
Teenage girls leave school when they start menstruating because they have no privacy.
Women face the daily threat of sexual violence.
Every minute 1.1 million litres of human excrement enters the river Ganges.
Lack of access to sanitation, including the practice of open defecation, costs the world’s poorest countries $260 billion a year.
Access to sanitation is critical for human development.
“Sanitation is the greatest medical milestone of the last century and a half” – British Medical Journal.
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We need everyone to know about open defecation.
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