The Thai government is discarding the squat toilets prevalent in the country to mitigate the number of people suffering from squat-related arthritis.
The move comes after the government realised that people were suffering from arthritis due to squat toilets, which are present in 85 per cent of households and public facilities in the country. The Public Health Ministry revealed that around six million natives, including expats, were suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee due to the toilets.
The ministry plans to replace them these with sit-downs, which are far easier on the knees. An unnamed source said, "Prolonged periods of squatting have been found to cause arthritis. It is hoped the new toilets will save a few more knees and boost tourism."
The Deputy Minister of the concerned department, Cholanan Srikaew, suggested that the scrapping of the squat toilets will not merely help control arthritis cases in the country but will also generate more money via the tourism industry. The tourism industry accounts for seven percent of the country's gross domestic product.