Did you know that children around the world miss an estimated 443 million school days each year because of diseases caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices, including using unsanitary toilets? Simply put, this number of sick days is equivalent to all grade school and high school classrooms in the Philippines being empty for one month. Every day, millions of children in rural communities and urban households nationwide are exposed to these health problems by using dirty toilets populated by disease-carrying germs.
Unilever Philippines, through its leading germ-kill expert cleaner brand Domex, celebrated World Toilet Day 2015 at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City by announcing a stronger 1 Million Clean Toilets Movement. The advocacy campaign endeavors to educate a million Filipinos every year on proper toilet hygiene towards fighting diseases caused by unsanitary toilets.
This year, the movement is bigger and better with partners from health institutions and leading hospitals joining the advocacy, through the Philippine Public Health Association. “We wanted to help people who have suffered the consequences of poor hygiene. We want to educate them on proper toilet sanitation that will enable them to prevent sickness from happening again.” said Anna Mangilin, Unilever Marketing Director for Homecare.
The program includes training of hospital housekeeping staff on proper toilet hygiene, as well as distributing educational materials to patients. “The program is very relevant and helpful because the simple act of proper toilet hygiene can help prevent the spread of disease,” said Dr. Alfonso Nuñez III, EAMC Deputy Quality Management Representative.
Unilever also partnered with Maxicare to reinforce the 1 Million Clean Toilet Movement’s commitment to educate Filipinos on proper toilet sanitation. As the country’s leading health maintenance organization with an estimated one million members nationwide, Maxicare and its network of doctors can reach more health conscious individuals and encourage them to adopt proper hygiene practices.
Patients at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), Rizal Medical Center, and Maxicare clinics experience germ-free toilets and are empowered to have the same for their homes, given the right tools for proper toilet sanitation.
All of these efforts on toilet sanitation are in line with Unilever Philippines’ long-term commitment to the global Unilever Sustainable Living Plan which aims to improve the health and well-being of two billion people worldwide by 2020.
“Looking toward 2016, we are confident to educate a million people more as we drive the agenda among the top hospitals and health institutions consistently throughout the year, aiming to fight diseases and save lives, one clean toilet at a time,” said Liza Vengco, Unilever Sustainable Business and Communications Manager.