A UN-recognised event, World Toilet Day on November 19, aims to raise awareness about poor sanitation and defecation in the open.
An estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide are without toilets to safely dispose of their waste. Al Jazeera looks at the impact caused by the lack of access to sanitation facilities.
Open defecation is most widespread in countries that also have the highest number of deaths for children aged five and under, as well as the highest levels of malnutrition and poverty, and large disparities in wealth.
A World Health Organization study in 2012 calculated that for every $1 invested in sanitation, there was a return of $5.50 in lower healthcare costs, greater productivity, and fewer premature deaths.