Safe disposal of children’s feces is as essential as the safe disposal of adults’ feces. This brief provides an overview of the available data on child feces disposal in the Philippines and concludes with ideas to strengthen safe disposal practices, based on emerging good practice.
The Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) tracks progress toward the Millennium Development Goal 7 target to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The JMP standardised definition for an improved sanitation facility is one that hygienically separates human excreta from human contact.
In the latest JMP report, 74 percent of the population in the Philippines had access to improved sanitation in 2012. This means that 25 million individuals in the Philippines lacked improved sanitation in 2012; of these, 7.5 million practice open defecation. However, these estimates are based on the household’s primary sanitation facility, and may overlook the sanitation practices of young children. In many cases, children may not be able to use an improved toilet or latrine—because of their age and stage of physical development or the safety concerns of their caregivers—even if their household has access to one.