More than a million children die from diarrhoea-related illnesses in Africa every year and it’s public health issues like this that will be exercising the minds of delegates at a conference on sanitation to be held in Durban in December.
The 12th Annual International World Toilet Summit and Exhibition will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from December 3 to 6.
Hosted by the World Toilet Organisation (WTO), it will explore issues such as human rights and sanitation, ways to improve access to sanitation in Africa, health and hygiene education, the role of women in sanitation, sanitation in schools and community involvement in sanitation projects.
WTO chairman, Jack Sim, said the lack of proper sanitation was one of the main, yet preventable, causes of the disease that resulted in poor levels of child mortality in the continent.
“More than a million diarrhoea-related child deaths occur each year in Africa,” he said. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 600 million people in Africa do not have access to proper sanitation, compounded by poverty, crime, disease and hunger.
“The summit will explore ways to help African countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals, with specific focus on water and sanitation targets,” Sim said.
“When we are children, our parents teach us not to talk about toilet matters. But we can’t think about things and improve them if we don’t talk about them.
“Sanitation is often treated as something disgusting and unspeakable, and this is why it has become such a serious problem.” – Daily News Reporter