Where I come from, we call it Delhi belly, as a legacy of empire. Diarrhea is the second biggest killer of children worldwide, and you've probably been asked to care about things like HIV/AIDS or T. or measles, but diarrhea kills more children than all those three things put together. And the cost to the world is immense: 260 billion dollars lost every year on the losses to poor sanitation. You'll have heard of cholera, but we don't hear about diarrhea. Because I can't explain otherwise, when I look at the figures, what's going on. So these are a bunch of inmates in a prison in Butare.
But if you search for a stock photo of diarrhea in a leading photo image agency, this is the picture that you come up with. It gets a fraction of the attention and funding given to any of those other diseases. We know, because in the mid-19th century, wonderful Victorian engineers installed systems of sewers and wastewater treatment and the flush toilet, and disease dropped dramatically. We know how to solve diarrhea and sanitation, but if you look at the budgets of countries, developing and developed, you'll think there's something wrong with the math, because you'll expect absurdities like Pakistan spending 47 times more on its military than it does on water and sanitation, even though 150,000 children die of diarrhea in Pakistan every year. They're genocidal inmates, most of them, and they're stirring the contents of their own latrines, because if you put poop in a sealed environment, in a tank, pretty much like a stomach, then, pretty much like a stomach, it gives off gas, and you can cook with it.
Fifty communicable diseases like to travel in human shit.
All those things, the eggs, the cysts, the bacteria, the viruses, all those can travel in one gram of human feces. Well, that little boy will not have washed his hands. He'll run back into his house, and he will contaminate his drinking water and his food and his environment with whatever diseases he may be carrying by fecal particles that are on his fingers and feet.
They've been used to sitting through lessons for years and years holding it in. So if you met an educationalist and said, "I can improve education attendance rates by 25 percent with just one simple thing," you'd make a lot of friends in education. It's not just in the poor world that poop can save lives. Because she has been suffering from a superbug called C.
We've all done that, but they do it every day, and when they hit puberty and they start menstruating, it just gets too much. Here's a woman who's about to get a dose of the brown stuff in those syringes, which is what you think it is, except not quite, because it's actually donated. diff, and it's resistant to antibiotics in many cases. She gets a dose of healthy human feces, and the cure rate for this procedure is 94 percent. And if you know anything about rural India, you'll know that's an unspeakably courageous thing to do. She got her toilet, and now she goes around all the other villages in India persuading other women to do the same thing.
You can write lengthy paragraphs about your interests, hopes, dreams, fantasy football team or whatever and upload multiple photos.
And they have to do what this little boy is doing by the side of the Mumbai Airport expressway, which is called open defecation, or poo-pooing in the open.In what I call the flushed-and-plumbed world that most of us in this room are lucky to live in, the most common symptoms associated with those diseases, diarrhea, is now a bit of a joke.It's the runs, the Hershey squirts, the squits. You can't see her, because she's buried under that green grass in a little village in Liberia, because she died in three days from diarrhea — the Hershey squirts, the runs, a joke. But she wasn't alone that day, because 4,000 other children died of diarrhea, and they do every day. In Rwanda, they are now getting 75 percent of their cooking fuel in their prison system from the contents of prisoners' bowels.It's astonishing, but hardly anyone is still doing it. That's okay, because there's a team of research scientists in Canada who have now created a stool sample, a fake stool sample which is called Re POOPulate. It's what I call social contagion, and it's really powerful and really exciting. I'm going to make your lives easy this afternoon and just ask you to do one thing, and that's to go out, protest, speak about the unspeakable, and talk shit.So you'd be thinking by now, okay, the solution's simple, we give everyone a toilet. In India now there's a campaign which persuades young brides not to marry into families that don't have a toilet. Another version of this, another village in India near where Priyanka lives is this village, called Lakara, and about a year ago, it had no toilets whatsoever. Some visitors came, using various behavioral change tricks like putting out a plate of food and a plate of shit and watching the flies go one to the other. All we really need to do is look at this issue as the urgent, shameful issue that it is. They have in-built bidet nozzles for a lovely, hands-free cleaning experience, and they have various other features like a heated seat and an automatic lid-raising device which is known as the "marriage-saver." (Laughter) But most importantly, what they have done in Japan, which I find so inspirational, is they've brought the toilet out from behind the locked door. "There are plenty of fish in the sea."The age-old saying traditionally applies to dating, but it can also apply to dating apps.And he does that every day, and every day, probably, that guy in the picture walks on by, because he sees that little boy, but he doesn't see him.But he should, because the problem with all that poop lying around is that poop carries passengers. A few years ago, oddly enough, I needed the bathroom, and I found one, a public bathroom, and I went into the stall, and I prepared to do what I'd done most of my life: use the toilet, flush the toilet, forget about the toilet.And for some reason that day, instead, I asked myself a question, and it was, where does this stuff go?