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Innovations in Public Health and Sanitation Using Convergence Technologies- e-sanitation Facility- Bincy Baby, Ria John

Innovations in Public Health and Sanitation Using Convergence Technologies- e-sanitation Facility- Bincy Baby, Ria John

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Published by: editorialelets on Nov 19, 2011
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This paper was submitted for eINDIA 2011 conference Page 1
eHEALTH:
Transforming public healthcare through technology
Innovations in Public Health and Sanitation using convergencetechnologies- e-sanitation facility -A case study of Delight eToilet
Bincy Baby
(1)
, Ria John
(2)(1) (2)
Eram Scientific Solutions
Introduction
Public health and sanitation are so closely intertwined that it is not possible to look at publichealth indices in isolation, by ignoring the stark statistics of deprivation of public sanitationfacilities. This consequence is more evident in metros and other upcoming cities in Indiawhich are now swelling with large migrant population as well as a floating population of global travellers, in addition to the city dwellers.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7, Target 10, is „To halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and sanitation‟. At the halfway
point, achievement of the sanitation element is too slow in 74 countries.Though India has been making significant strides in the public health front, the alarmingnegligence towards setting up adequate public infrastructure for sanitation is takingdangerous turns. According to an ICRA industry report on Healthcare, India spends 5.1percent of its GDP on health. A World Bank study has quantified the economic loss of lack of toilets and sanitation facilities in the country at $54 billion, as a consequence of treatmentcost for diseases, early deaths, lost productivity, and loss in tourist revenue among otherfactors.
The study „Economic Impact of Inadequate Sanitation in India‟, conducted by theBank‟s South Asia Water and Sanitation Unit, says lack of toilets and decent sanitation costs
India nearly $54 billion (Rs 24,000 crore), or 6.4% of its GDP a year, mainly throughpremature deaths, especially of children, treatment for hygiene-related illnesses, and lostproductivity.
 
 
This paper was submitted for eINDIA 2011 conference Page 2
Moreover, tourism emerging as a major economic contributor, providing hygienic and cleansanitation facilities in major tourist spots and other locations is a pre-requisite. WorldTourism Organization has predicted that by 2020, 1.6 billion people will be undertakingforeign travel each year. Tourism is a key foreign exchange earner for 83 percent of developing countries and the leading export earner for one-
third of the world‟s poorest
countriesIn spite of advanced technology being applied in all sectors, public sanitation still remains aneglected area. Thought there had been efforts made by various NGOs, Government andother donors, the universal problem of maintaining cleanliness and ensuring sustainability of these facilities largely remain unanswered. To effectively address these inherent issues, a fulllife cycle approach towards providing solution by integrating technology solutions, is theneed of the hour.This paper studies the impact of a fully integrated public sanitation system using convergencetechnologies against set of parameters which are considered as imperatives. The paper putsforth the case study of Delight e-toilet, as a sustainable model for public social infrastructureand an effective medium for mass communication for Government. Eram ScientificSolutions which has developed the product is a social enterprise which addresses the pressingneeds of the society, by deploying appropriate technology
1
.The data analysed will be attributed to three installation sites of Delight e-toilet in Kerala;Kozhikode(Calicut), Museum and Kanakakkunnu Palace in Thiruvananthapuram.This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the integration of appropriate technology to thethree components of the e-sanitation solution viz. the enclosure of the toilet unit, the closetunit and the waste management system, which have a direct bearing on the performancelevels of the parameters chosen for the study. The project has taken an overall direction asper the objectives stated in National Sanitation Policy
2
.The following parameters are analysed to explore the effectiveness of the solutions whencompared to a conventional facility.
 
 
This paper was submitted for eINDIA 2011 conference Page 3
a. Ensuring Cleanliness
Maintaining cleanliness is identified as the most important challenge and this becomesgruesome when considering the unpredicted civic behaviour of an individual while usingsuch social infrastructures. Delight has integrated self-flushing system after every use and afloor wash system at pre-set intervals to maintain the hygiene levels of the units. Yet waterconservation is given utmost importance. The etoilets are programmed to flush 1.5 liters of water if the user takes up to 3 minutes, and 4 liters of water for extended usage. Hence totalwater usage per user will not exceed 4 liters, which will smartly conserve water. Details of self-flushing and floor wash are given in Table 1.1 below.
Table 1.1 Flushing Pattern- Delightb. Impact on Public Health
The public health indices which correlate to the practices of open defecation, urination aredirectly connected to wide spread prevalence of infectious diseases like cholera, dysentery isone of the factors. Contamination of water tables and other water sources also are addressed.Though quantitative evidences are too early to be analysed in these installation sites, thepublic acceptance of the units has seen a drastic improvement.

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