Deep Doo-Doo

A new United Nations report bowls us over by suggesting that the most underused tool for preventing disease in the Third World is the toilet.

Two million children die every year due to the effects of water laden with human waste. As the New York Times puts it, "More than a third of the world's people — 2.6 billion — have no decent place to go to the bathroom."

U.N. expert Kevin Watkins puts it succinctly: "Issues dealing with human excrement tend not to figure prominently in the programs of political parties contesting elections or the agendas of governments. They're the unwanted guests at the table."

If you think a public discussion of doo-doo is embarrassing, try this: According to the U.N. report, the annual price of providing sanitation and clean drinking water for the toilet-less is the same as what we spend on bottled water in America alone.

3 thoughts on “Deep Doo-Doo”

  1. When people gripe about the American health care system, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Institute of Medicine report in 2000 that estimated as many as 98,000 people a year die from infections they acquired in the hospital.

    By Labus

  2. Use of the toilet does nothing to remove or prevent human waste from entering the water supply. Unless you also plan to spend quite a bit of money on water treatment plants, this is drivel

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