March 2014 – Unilever’s health soap Lifebuoy has this month announced the results of its Help A Child Reach 5 handwashing programmes launched in Thesgora, India, noting an overwhelming drop in incidence of diarrhoea from 36% to 5%.
The decrease in diarrhoea in this village – known for having one of the highest rates in India of this deadly yet preventable disease – was observed over the period of Lifebuoy’s intervention in an independent evaluation of 1485 households with children aged below 12 years, conducted by Nielsen in September 2013.
Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign aims to eradicate preventable deaths from diseases like diarrhoea one village at a time through teaching lifesaving handwashing habits. The campaign was launched with an award winning film http://www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5 and handwashing initiatives in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh.
These new results show that handwashing programmes have significant positive impact on both the handwashing behaviours and health of a community. Lifebuoy’s handwashing programmes are now being rolled out to villages across a further eight countries and scaled up in India to reach 45 million people.