United Nations. Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 2022a. (accessed 2 November 2022)

UN Water. World Toilet Day 2022b. Making the Invisible Visible. 2022b. (accessed 2 November 2022)

World Toilet Day: making the invisible visible

10 November 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 20

World Toilet Day is marked every year on 19 November, with this year's theme being ‘let's make the invisible visible’. Declared an official annual United Nations (UN) event in 2013, it aims to encourage action to challenge the global sanitation crisis and help attain Sustainable Development Goal 6, which pledges sanitation for all by 2030 (UN, 2022a) – only 8 years away.

Encouraging people to engage with this is important. World Toilet Day provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, and think about practices and approaches to address this significant global problem. Being able to access basic toilets has the potential to decrease disease by twice as much as accessing clean drinking water and, yet, it fails to attract a fraction of the funding. It seems that funds are available for clean water, but little for sanitation.

Florence Nightingale championed the provision of care and comfort, but she was also an advocate of sanitary reform in the mid-1860s – she believed there was a link between unsanitary conditions and disease. She wrote extensively, using her data to highlight the deadly toll of poor hygiene and sanitary conditions in British Army hospitals. There is a need to protect water, the source of life. Currently, it is estimated that around 3.6 billion people globally do not have a toilet that works properly and 3.6 billion people live without access to safely managed sanitation (UN Water, 2022).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content