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International Community Observes World Toilet Day

“Some 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation, the United Nations said, and more than one billion practice open defecation — a problem that contributes to countless deaths from preventable diseases,” the Associated Press reports, noting World Toilet Day is observed November 19. “Each year, more than 800,000 children under five die from diarrhea, the U.N. said, many due to poor sanitation,” the AP writes. “We must break the taboos and make sanitation for all a global development priority,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said, according to the news agency (Spielmann, 11/19). “Diarrheal diseases, stemming from improper sanitation, are the second-leading cause of deaths — respiratory diseases are first — among the young in developing countries,” according to CNBC/NBC News, which adds, “The [WHO] estimates that at any given moment, half of the developing world’s people are sick from diseases associated with dirty water and bad sanitation” (Koba, 11/15).