Blog for a cause !
You must have missed out on the news that only last month the Supreme Court of Pakistan had to take a suo moto notice on rising number of children deaths caused by various diseases including diarrhoea.
While Federal and provincial governments have been trying to improve the health conditions in the country, one can’t commend RB and Plan International enough on their recent campaign called “Save a child a minute”
Reckitt Benckiser (RB), manufacturers of Dettol, and Plan International Pakistan, a developmental sector organization, have collaborated to design and test a new approach to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea amongst under-five children by improving the health, hygiene and sanitation conditions. On December 8, 2015 RB and Plan have jointly launched an innovative behaviour changing campaign, “Save a Child a Minute” in Pakistan. The vision is to stop deaths from diarrhoea by empowering women and creating wealth for local communities.
Alarmingly, diarrhoea is the second leading cause of deaths among under-five children. It kills 53,000 children annually, in Pakistan (PDHS 2013). Research also suggests that children who suffer two to three diarrhoeal episodes and survive diarrhoea in the initial two years of their life are vulnerable to malnutrition.
Representatives from the government and Planning and Development Commission under Minister Ahsan Iqbal were the chief guests at the launch event of the campaign, who stated:
“This is a brilliant and innovative initiative towards eradicating diarrhoea and a stepping stone for public-private partnerships to improve health conditions and empower local communities. The best part is that it is in line with the government vision project 2025. Currently the government is collaborating for the pilot, it can further look into jointly upscaling the campaign at a national level.”
Rashid Javed, Country Director Plan International Pakistan with his remarks:
“Based on our experience of Sanitation Marketing we are now moving forward to test a new model of women entrepreneurship. The model is based on helping communities to adopt improved hygiene behaviours and sustaining them through a sustainable supply chain. Establishing a system of supply and demand and linking it with women entrepreneur/Women hygienist is an idea which will ultimately help these women to earn their livelihood while helping their communities to promote health by adopting improved behaviours for water, sanitation and hygiene.”
Shahzeb Mehmood, CEO RB Pakistan highlighted the key points of the project, during his speech he stated:
“RB has always aimed to provide healthier homes and happier lives through trusted brands such as Dettol, Mortein, Harpic and many more. This global initiative simultaneously being run in Pakistan, Nigeria and India seeks to eradicate diarrhoea and improve general health and hygiene of the low-income consumers byhabit change. Through global research and technology, RB designed a low-cost antibacterial soap under the Dettol brand, a complete new formulation specifically for this purpose. The aim is to interactively educate consumers about health and hygiene, provide them with affordable health and sanitary solutions (by RB and other private companies such as Shan Foods, Searle, Peak Freans and Santex) and in the process empower local women who will sell these products door-to-door.”
For the next 6 months, in the pilot phase of the campaign, RB and Plan will cover 600 households in Dhori, a village in Sargodha. Based on the learnings from this pilot, “Save a Child a Minute” will then be scaled up nationally by RB and Plan in close coordination with the federal and provincial government to support the Government’s Vision 2025 project.