TOILETS The city of Montpellier has made a commitment to the Afa association to allow patients to access the toilets of some of its public buildings
Public toilets, on the esplanade, in Montpellier. — N. Bonzom/Maxele Presse
- For people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative rectolitis, finding public toilets is often a real hassle.
- These diseases chronic inflammatory bowel diseases require those who suffer from it to take regular, and often unpredictable, breaks in the little corner.
- The François Aupetit (Afa) Crohn-RCH Association is fighting to simplify the daily lives of these chronically ill people. The city of Montpellier has just committed to opening the toilets in some of its public buildings to these people.
Going out on the town is a real expedition for people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Before venturing there, you must make sure that there are toilets on their route. Because these chronic inflammatory bowel diseases impose a those who suffer from it, about 200,000 people today in France, to take regular, and often unpredictable, breaks in the little corner.
Still need to find toilets. And let them be open. “I'm walking around town, when everything's up. Suddenly an emergency arises,” said Christine, 45, who has Crohn's disease, who has testified to of his misadventure with the Association François Aupetit (Afa) Crohn-RCH, which has been fighting for many years to simplify the daily lives of these chronically ill patients. “I need a toilet, and fast. I only have a minute or two at most to find some, otherwise it’s a disaster! The intestines do not wait, they are uncontrollable. I take the handle [of the toilet] in my hand and, what a surprise, the door is closed at the door. … key. I can't move, I'm paralyzed.”
“A real obstacle course”
If a handful of small and medium-sized towns in France have accepted to tackle the difficulties of these people, the association is pleased that finally a metropolis, Montpellier (Hérault), takes the problem to heart. arm-the-body. The capital of Hérault is indeed committed to the Afa, to widen the possibilities of access to the toilets for the sick. “A patient who walks through the city achieves a real obstacle course, deplores Elodie Brun-Mandon (various left), elected to the National Assembly. health. I’ve been convinced by this imperative to make our city more accessible, and make Montpellier an exemplary city in terms of accessibility. Access to the toilets is a priority. We must act to lift unjustified taboos around this health topic. prominent public.”
Thus, the municipality, which intends to continue its efforts in this area (29 public toilets today, whereas there was only one before 2014), will open the toilets of some of its buildings. public times to people holding the “Emergency toilets” card. A pass, created by Afa for its members, to allow them to be well received, in partner establishments, public or private, such as bars, which can be identified thanks to a discreet sticker. The association also participated to the creation of a free and participative application, “Where” are the toilets?”, which references small corners all over the world, including those of Urgence Toilettes’ partner establishments.
“A v” ;ritable societal problem”
“It’sa real societal problem, a real health problem; public, and no one talks about it,” says Michel Liberatore, secretary general, and delegate. regional Occitanie of the Afa. Beyond of the municipalities, Afa hopes that schools and public transport companies, in particular the SNCF, will seize it.
Today, çis moving a little. The city of Lille and municipalities in the Paris region have contacted; the association. But ça press. Because many people affected by these diseases confine themselves or impose “voluntary anorexia on themselves so as not to have difficulties”, laments Michel Liberatore. And some empty their wallets, paying for coffees they don’t drink, in bars, to be able to access the toilets. “It happened to me, of course, notes the association’s secretary general. It happened to me to pay up to 14 euros per day, ` Nîmes, to go to the toilet.”