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World Toilet Day

November 19 - a historical event was born and it made a great statement to the world that there are still areas in this world that are not being developed resulting to people eventually suffering[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="officeArt_x0020_object" o:spid="_x0000_s1026" type="#_x0000_t75" style='position:absolute;left:0;text-align:left; margin-left:16.1pt;margin-top:23.6pt;width:146.65pt;height:118.5pt;z-index:251659264; visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square;mso-wrap-distance-left:12pt; mso-wrap-distance-top:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-right:12pt; mso-wrap-distance-bottom:12pt;mso-position-horizontal:absolute; mso-position-horizontal-relative:margin;mso-position-vertical:absolute; mso-position-vertical-relative:line' wrapcoords="0 0 21593 0 21593 21591 0 21591 0 0" strokeweight="1pt"> <v:stroke miterlimit="4"></v:stroke> <v:imagedata src="file:////Users/analiabordenave/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.png" o:title=""></v:imagedata> <w:wrap type="through" anchorx="margin" anchory="line"></w:wrap> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif] from diseases due to lack of resources and poverty.

In coordination with the World Toilet Day, I am going to tell you a story about a place I served for years as a Registered Nurse that changed my whole perspective not just as a healthcare professional but as a person. When you say Nurse, most people will think that this is a job only related, bounded and tied up in hospitals or clinics, well to further give you an insight, it is not.

After working in a hospital in the Philippines, I ventured to the community health nursing where I discovered that I am not just good with charts, medications and so on. I found out that I can talk to people in a whole different level, that my job is not just to help people when they are sick but to start doing it while they are still not.

There are places in the Philippines that are far flung and going there is not even easy. Apart from the fact that healthcare is not that accessible, the number one thing I noticed is the sanitation and hygiene. Basically, we have indigenous people in our country who are not even exposed to the so-called ‘toilet.’ For them, pooping and urinating is a matter of going outside the house or in the river and then that’s it.

In a way I cannot blame them because they are living in the mountains and they are basically isolated about a lot of things that this world has to offer and the modern kind of lifestyle. They are actually on an off grid kind of life. This is one of the things that our government is trying to solve. The government and NGO’s are providing aid thru the rural health unit team in every place that needs help in putting up toilets for them to use.

The big role of the healthcare sector is to teach them how to use it, how to clean themselves after using it like basic hand washing and etc. and how to maintain these toilets made for them to use. This project has been evolving in a lot place but of course not everybody can avail the help due to financial restrictions as well.

Since it is the World Toilet Day, I would like to encourage each and everyone who has toilets at home to try appreciating what you have. Support the missions or give donations if you can to help a lot of people meet a toilet and use it in a proper way. This way we can help to educate them, boost their morale, keep them from having diarrhea, cholera, or any other disease caused by fecal-oral route and the like.

For every flush you make, might it be in a private or public toilet, be aware that you are lucky because you have that flush button, some other people doesn’t even know it exist. So, as we celebrate the world toilet day, I encourage you to participate and donate. Enjoy the flush!

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About the author: Rhea Vie Fantone-Schuster

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