Sunday, February 5, 2012

Squatting to Poop

Low-resource medicine is all about prevention. There may be substantial health benefits to squatting to poop rather than using a sit toilet: by removing the need to force stool out, hemorrhoids, diverticuli, and other nasty disorders may be averted. In Indonesia, I grew to greatly prefer the squatting position to the throne-sit I'd grown up with, and I'm not the only converted Westerner; a number of companies offer products (like this one) to hack your sit toilet and replicate the experience. But that's a lot costlier than just building a squat toilet in the first place. The lesson for practitioners: Don't assume you have to include sit toilets in your low-resource clinic. You and your patients may be better off in a squat.

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