Our Global Voices | Blogs | CDC
Our Global Voices PostsPosted on by Madison Walter, CDC Global Health Student Intern
We use toilets every day – at home, school, and work – yet 40% of the world’s population does not have this luxury. Clean and safe toilets are more than just a place to use the restroom. They are essential for health, human dignity, and improved education. Sadly, 2.4 billion people are still using inadequate forms of sanitation, which in many ways represents a hidden public health crisis. Among these people, almost 1 billion face the indignity of defecating outside without privacy. The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals include a target to ensure universal access to clean and working toilets by 2030, making sanitation a global development priority. To raise awareness of this issue, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 19 as World Toilet Day.
CDC’s Emergency Response and Recovery Branch (ERRB) has joined the United Nations and other development partners to reach the Sustainable Development Goal by evaluating the safety and acceptability of urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs). These types of toilets collect feces and urine separately for treatment, and because they are installed above ground, they are appropriate for areas where traditional options (e.g., dug pit latrines) are not feasible. This increases the potential for access to clean and safe toilets in difficult environments, such as flood-prone or dry areas.
In 2014, CDC was awarded a grant from Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC), an organization working to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence for health interventions in humanitarian crises. This grant funds a study of UDDTs in a refugee camp setting to provide guidance on their potential use in humanitarian crises.
CDC‘s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) is also involved in efforts to improve sanitation by partnering with a start-up company, Sanivation, to turn human waste into fuel. In 2013, Sanivation received the CDC Innovation Fund Award to begin a waste-to-fuel conversion project in Kenya. Instead of dumping human waste, Sanivation can transform it into fuel using solar power, an inexpensive way to effectively treat human waste. This method of waste treatment has worked in refugee camp settings and provides a cost-effective way to reuse human waste. Sanivation plans to expand to other regions of East Africa with the goal of serving over 1 million people by 2020.
Through these efforts, CDC is working to increase the evidence base needed to provide clean and safe toilets in developing countries with limited resources. CDC’s efforts to improve sanitation are part of a worldwide initiative to break the silence surrounding the sanitation crisis.
To learn more about CDC efforts and other current sanitation initiatives visit:
- CDC UDDT Evaluation
- World Toilet Organization
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Saving Energy, Saving Lives: World Water Day 2014
- Using Solar Energy to Treat Waste in Kenya
Since its inception, the CDC has played a major role in advancing the health security in dozens of countries by improving response times to the outbreaks of several vaccine-preventable diseases. Furthermore, its partnerships with other countries and philanthropic organizations have not only stopped outbreaks, but also improved disease surveillance, laboratory science, emergency operations, and health Read More >Posted on by James L. Goodson, MPH, Senior Measles Scientist at CDC
In the swirl of world events that range from economic uncertainty to continuing unease about terrorism, President Obama took an important step today to strengthen our ability to protect people in the United States and around the world from disease outbreaks. Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order that cements the Global Health Security Agenda Read More >Posted on by Dr. Tom Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For as long as people have lived with – and in close proximity to – animals, the benefit of that reality has come with a serious trade-off… the potential for disease. That reality also explains why a “One Health” approach is used at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify and minimize the Read More >Posted on by Casey Barton Behravesh MS, DVM, DrPH, DACVPM
The number of people affected by stroke worldwide has gone up significantly in the past 20 years. The number continues to increase in part due to an aging population. Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Stroke kills more than 130,000 Americans Read More >Posted on by Mary G. George, MD, MSPH, FACS and Jennifer L. Foltz, MD, MPH
NEW! Read our World Stroke Day blog! OCTOBER 28 John Bingham is an American writer and long distance runner who’s competed in more than 45 marathons. He has no connection whatsoever to global health. Nor does he claim any history or involvement with the difficult but ever hopeful struggle to eradicate polio from every Read More >Posted on by Dr. Rebecca Martin, Director CDC’s Center for Global Health
Life can quickly move from hard to catastrophic when a vulnerable island nation lies directly in the path of a Category 4 storm, as Haiti did when Hurricane Matthew roared ashore to bludgeon its remote southwest region on October 4th. People need immediate shelter when a disaster like this strikes. They need doctors, nurses, and Read More >Posted on by Jordan Tappero, MD, MPH
While being a physician is certainly important to me, first and foremost I consider myself a native of Barbados. The people of Barbados are unique, but they share a commonality with citizens of many other countries: they struggle with a high burden of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, and other risk factors for Read More >Posted on by Dr. Kenneth Connell, the Preclinical Deputy Dean and a Faculty Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of the West Indies, Medical Sciences Cave Hill Campus in Barbados
Rabies is a disease that affects both people and animals, and is nearly always fatal once clinical signs have developed. In the United States, people are most likely to get rabies from a bat or raccoon. But in Africa and many other parts of the world, people fear getting rabies from their dogs. In Ethiopia, Read More >Posted on by Emily Pieracci, CDC veterinarian
A new CDC study examining the first decade of HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up in Mozambique revealed fewer people are dying from HIV in recent years, likely due to more patients starting treatment at earlier disease stages. The analysis also found that people who more recently began ART were less likely to remain engaged in Read More >Posted on by