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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Domex and its 1 Million Clean Toilets


Toilet sanitation: A major health hurdle in the Philippines



If having a clean toilet is a sign of a progressive country, we have some serious cleaning up to do. In other countries, that I have been to, I always ended up to some pristine clean white comfort rooms, not to mention that they smelled divine too, and that is a public toilet for you. In here, in order to access clean toilet with some tissue, hand lotion, rubbing alcohol and a hand sanitizer you have to shell out php10 or php20 to do your deed. Who would have to use a stinky toilet, its a breeding ground for bacteria and diseases like diarrhea, influenza, hepatitis A and even STD's.

The best thing that we can do is always bring a packet of wet wipes and a hand sanitizer in going to the public comfort room. In lieu with this, Domex has partnered with UNICEF and the Philippine Public Health Association (PPHA) to advocate the 1 Million Clean Toilets Movement, a campaign that educates the public on the health impacts of germ-free toilets and secures one million pledges from households, government agencies and private corporations to conscientiously maintain clean, safe, and hygienic bathrooms.

L-R: Ms. Malou Orezca (Board of Director-Phil. Public Health), Dr.Mike Gnilo (UNICEF’S Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Specialist), Mr. Chito Macapagal (Vice President for Corp. Affairs), and Mr. Jay Go (Marketing Director for UNILEVER Home Care)

A joint monitoring report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization reveals that 26% of Filipino households do not have toilets. UNICEF WASH Specialist Dr. Mike Gnilo said it is imperative to address the country’s lack of clean toilets. “More than 8% of these households practice open defecation which threatens water resources. In some communities, toilets are also shared by more than a dozen families which make them harder to maintain.”

To compound the problem, over 90% of households do not practice proper toilet hygiene and sanitation. Many residents and sanitation managers clean toilets using only detergents and thin bleaches which do not kill disease-spreading germs.

“A number of the country’s public toilets are in need of cleaning and maintenance. These include inaccessible restrooms in parks, museums, commercial centers and tourist destinations,” said PPHA Director Maluh Orezca during a Bulong Pulungan media forum at Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City.

“We at Domex believe that prompt action against diarrheal diseases, unclean toilets and unsanitary toilet practices can significantly decrease health risks and improve lives,” said Jay Go, marketing director for Unilever Home Care, noting that in the Philippines, more than 2,000 children under five die annually from diarrhea as a result of germ-infested toilets that contaminate water resources.

To raise awareness on diarrheal diseases and their prevention, Domex will conduct activities throughout the year to educate and train households on proper toilet sanitation. These will also show the advantages of using a dedicated toilet-cleaning agent such as Domex in disinfecting the toilet and preventing the spread of disease-causing germs.

Full force against diarrheal diseases
In line with the objectives of its 1 Million Clean Toilets Movement, Domex partners with establishments for massive cleanup and information drives. Kicking off the campaign is a series of restroom cleanup activities at Shell NLEX/SLEX stations throughout the Holy Week and summer months, a tie-up with major hospitals such as Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital for information dissemination and other activities, as well as partnerships with dining establishments to further reinforce their commitment to public health through proper toilet sanitation.

Along with the cleanup rounds, Domex will educate the public on ways to clean their household toilet properly through various media platforms. These will serve as references for those who are interested to learn about the fight against diarrheal diseases.

These activities will culminate with the World Toilet Day celebrations in November where Domex hopes to garner 1 million clean toilet pledges from households, government agencies and private institutions. Unilever Philippines hopes to add this number to their envisioned 1 Billion Better Lives by 2020, in their thrust to create improved, sustainable living around the globe.

If you want to take part on DOMEX’s pledge on Facebook, every click DOMEX will donate P5.00 contribution to UNICEF’S sanitation program.


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