Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Use of improved sanitation facilities

Situation and trends

As of 2012, the world is unlikely to meet the MDG sanitation target in 2015, and is projected to be missed by 547 million people. 2.5 billion people remained without access to improved sanitation facilities. A staggering 1 billion people (14% of the world population) remain with no access to toilets, latrines or any form of sanitation facility, and therefore practised open defecation, resulting in high levels of environmental contamination and exposure to the risks of microbial infections, diarrhoeal diseases (including cholera), trachoma, schistosomiasis and hepatitis. 902 million of them live in rural areas.

Encouraging progress however has been made, more than 1.9 billion people gained access to improved sanitation facilities between 1990 and 2012. Urban-rural disparities persist: 62% of the gains in access were in the urban areas, and 7 out of 10 people that do not have access to an improved sanitation facility, live in rural areas.


More information on sanitation:

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