Unilever unveils new film and rural programme about handwashing with soap for newborn survival

Unilever’s health soap, Lifebuoy introduced ‘Chamki’, a compelling new film to raise awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap for new mums as part of Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 handwashing programme.

This year, the campaign focuses on a child’s neonatal period (the first 28 days of life). It also coincides with the launch of a partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) to scale up Lifebuoy’s handwashing programmes in rural Bihar, India.

The newest Help a Child Reach 5 film was developed by Mullen Lowe Group and shot by the famous feature film director, Anand Gandhi. The film showcases the emotional journey of a real pregnant mother and her aspirations for her child.

It highlights the importance of doing something very simple, yet important during pregnancy and early in the child’s life: washing hands with soap.

Samir Singh, Executive Director, Hindustan Unilever, said: “We are excited to release this film and take the hygiene message to where it matters the most: to new mothers in the first 28 days after delivery. The Help a Child Reach 5 campaign started in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh that has one of the highest rates of diarrhoea, and showcased remarkable results. We now impact child health at a very large scale in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.”

 CIFF and Hindustan Unilever via The Bhavishya Alliance Child Nutrition Initiatives are announcing a partnership that aims to change the handwashing behaviours of nine million children in Bihar. In the pilot on-the-ground activities, the partnership reached out to 560,000 children in Bihar.  The project aims to reach up to 50,000 government rural primary schools in nearly 30 districts in Bihar. This project will be delivered by almost 600 trained health promoters who will visit villages with targeted materials and activities for children and mothers to reinforce handwashing behaviours. This programme will also educate thousands of pregnant women and new mothers on the benefits of handwashing with soap.

Anagha Khot, Manager – Strategy & Partnerships, South Asia of CIFF, said, “Handwashing with soap is among the most cost-effective ways of preventing common infections in children. We are happy to partner with Unilever to reach millions of children across the state of Bihar.”

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