TYPE 2 polio has revisited our country after two decades of absence. Department of Health (DOH)undersecretary Eric Domingo expressed his concern underlying the importance of personal hygiene in preventing the spread of the dreaded type of polio.
Domingo revealed that exposure to the virus in contact with contaminated human feces could readily spread the disease. With that information, it is even more imperative to address the problem of sanitation. There are three million Filipinos who do not have sanitary toilets. Most of these citizens deprived of proper disposal of human wastes are in urban areas. Our mayors should make the need for sanitary toilets their priority project.
Sen. Ping Lacson exposed an alleged “hidden pork barrel” in Congress amounting to billions of pesos where itemized projects by favored congressmen are supposedly included in the National Budget for 2020. I wonder if in these itemized projects sanitary toilets are included.
Let us be serious in implementing the Solid Waste Management and the Clean Water Act to the maximum so we can eliminate diseases like dengue, leptospirosis, polio and diphtheria. The DOH should walk the talk.
Billionaire Bill Gates has organized a foundation with the intention of providing water, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries based on this data: “There are about 4.5 billion people, more than half of the world’s population —either practice open defecation or use unsafe sanitation facilities and services.”
The Gates Foundation suggests that for effective sanitation, there must be careful management in all stages from the point waste is collected and contained to how it is transported and treated. If there are gaps at any stage, then harmful human waste flows into surface waters and fields where children play and people of all ages live, eat, drink and bathe. And this is exactly the situation in our “esteros” and different squatter areas.
Since 2011, the Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge has worked with leading engineers and scientists to design low-cost toilets that do not require connection to the electrical grid, water supply or sewers. A prototype of reinvented toilet exists in Africa. Several designs debuted at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in 2018 and are now commercially available. These toilets work using internal combustion and chemical treatment systems, and they can be set up in areas that are hard to reach with traditional infrastructure.