Dirty Toilet, Fifth Biggest Killer of Women Globally – Water Aid
Answering the call of nature is a necessity, but it is important to understand that using a dirty toilet can open doors of deadly infections if care is not taken while using toilets.
Most women who have become regular customers in hospitals because of certain reproductive health diseases started their journey in dirty toilets and public toilets. Women especially are more prone to infections because of their reproductive make up / placement, while such infections have been globally researched to lead to grievous complications.
According to home economists, this is a pertinent area that people often do incorrectly, which as a result has birthed countless diseases that have altered lives and developments. A report by the Water Aid identified diseases linked to lack of safe toilets as the fifth biggest global killers of women.
Medical experts list some of the diseases likely to be contracted directly or indirectly from unsafe toilet as: streptococcus, staphylococcus, shigella bacteria, hepatitis virus, common cold virus, and various sexually transmitted organisms.
In the words of Ekpa, these diseases can be contracted from dirty toilets, doorknobs, and handles, by touching toilet surfaces with fingers or not washing hands after using the toilet.
According to CDC, Faeces, either from people or animals is an important source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O15 and norovirus that cause diarrhoea, and is able to spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease.
It is also said that a single gram of human faeces can accommodate as much as one trillion germs, which explains why proper care of the toilet must not be taken with levity.
The Good Housekeeping Institute recommended that personal toilet be washed at least once a week. “But if there are people with bugs or small children around, then daily,” it stated.
For public toilets, Ekpa said, “Due to heavy use, most public toilets require more frequent cleaning than private household toilets. Frequency of cleaning and disinfection may vary, depending on the location and the number of users. Cleaning should also take into consideration those areas with the greater likelihood of harbouring most germs.”
A house cleaning firm, Molly Maid in one of its publications, offered helpful tips on how to effectively clean the toilet using toilet cleaner. It stated:
• Begin by applying toilet cleaner to the bowl and allow it to soak.
• use a scrub sponge to clean the exterior of the toilet. Pay attention to the base and floor around the toilet while you’re there. If you have a modern toilet with a quick-disconnect toilet seat, remove the seat and clean it separately.
• Once the exterior is clean, use a toilet brush to clean the bowl.
• You know the area underneath the rim where water pours out? Since this is out of sight, many people don’t scrub it. Don’t ignore this area! Use your brush or sponge to clean the underside of the rim. Use Toilet Cleaner, not detergent.
• Rinse with water.
The use of toilet cleaners has been undermined in Nigeria. Most people still depend on only detergents or a mixture of detergent and other chemicals to clean their toilets.
For a healthier effect beyond the tempting white, it is strongly advised that toilet cleaner with active anti- germs agent and not detergent be used to wash toilet bowls and seats. Confirming this, renowned microbiologist, Dr. Charles Gerba stated that detergent cannot be trusted to kill bacteria and all sorts of germs, but toilet cleaners have been proven effectively tough on germs and its carriers. More so, toilet cleaners in addition to its germs’ destructive elements, come with a soap base (Surfactants) that aids washing.
Gladly, some indigenous toilet cleaner manufacturers have broken down their products to suit different economy classes. Manufacturers like Hypo Homecare Products limited have a sachet size for as low as N35, to make hygiene affordable for those even at the lowest rung of the economy ladder. Hence, there is no excuse for using detergents or other chemicals in the toilet.