Tag Archives: Unilever

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.

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Lifebuoy champions need for handwashing with soap public private partnerships at AfricaSan 4 to improve newborn survival

Photo credit: Lifebuoy/Unilever  #HelpaChildReach5

Photo credit: Lifebuoy/Unilever #HelpaChildReach5

Dakar, Senegal 25th May – Unilever, through health soap brand Lifebuoy is calling on African leaders gathering in Senegal this week for AfricaSan – the continent’s pre-eminent sanitation and hygiene conference – to recognise the role of public private partnerships in addressing newborn and child health. The move comes as Lifebuoy announces the renewal of its partnership with USAID and the expansion of newborn hygiene programmes across Kenya following a successful four-year partnership. Lifebuoy aims to reach 71 million across Africa by 2020 as part of its behaviour change programme which has engaged 257 million people in 24 countries, since 2010.

In its mission to reach 1 billion people with its lifesaving message of handwashing with soap, Lifebuoy joined forces with USAID and its Maternal and Child Survival Programme (MCSP), to create a dedicated newborn programme to make handwashing with soap commonplace among mothers. Worldwide, 40% of under-5 deaths occur in the newborn period and handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia, the main causes of child mortality.

The programme will combine Lifebuoy’s marketing and consumer expertise and proven handwashing behaviour change methodology, with MCSP’s ability to deploy programmes on a large scale, allowing the partnership to reach millions of new mothers. The collaboration proves the vital role that public private partnerships play in public health interventions in Africa and beyond.

“Most newborn deaths due to infection could be averted through simple preventive measures, such as improving hygiene and ensuring curative care is available to sick children.   Unilever and USAID renew our commitment to scale up newborn hygiene programs together.  A simple hygiene message – handwashing with soap – can help save the lives of babies,” said Katie Taylor, Deputy Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator at the U.S. Agency for International Development. “With Unilever and Lifebuoy, we are combining our expertise to achieve real change for the mothers and children in Africa – so every child in Africa can live beyond their fifth birthday.”

Senegalese politician and award-winning singer Youssou N’Dour has pledged his support to Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign to highlight the importance of hygiene in reducing child mortality, particularly in Africa. He is described as one of the world’s greatest singers and has advocated for children in Africa and abroad. “50% of the world’s under-5 deaths happens in Africa, with 1 in every 10 children born dying before their 5th birthday,” said N’Dour. “The simple act of handwashing with soap can save children’s lives and should play a key part in the post-2015 development agenda. I am calling on policymakers and governments in Africa to help make this happen by expanding handwashing education programmes.”

The Fourth Regional Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa (AfricaSan 4) is focusing on the theme: Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa.  With the launch of the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) in September, Lifebuoy is raising awareness of the need to track handwashing facilities and behaviours in the water and sanitation goal (SDG 6). How individual countries choose to implement the SDGs and build the targets and indicators into their own national plans will determine their success and Lifebuoy is working to ensure its message “Handwashing with soap saves lives” is heard at the highest levels in Africa.

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New business-led coalition for market-based sanitation for the poor

Toilet Board Coalition logoOn World Toilet Day, Unilever announced the launch of The Toilet Board Coalition. The aim of the new coalition is to tackle  open defecation using market-driven solutions.

The Toilet Board Coalition brings together some of the most forward-thinking organisations in the sanitation space: Firmenich, Kimberly-Clark, LIXIL Corporation and Unilever represent the business sector; Dr Val Curtis of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Barbara Evans of the University of Leeds bring academic rigour to the table; and a number of development sector and governmental bodies bring their one-of-a-kind resources and specialist knowledge: Agence Française De Développement; the Asian Development Bank; the UK’s Department for International Development; Stone Family Foundation; WaterAid; Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP); Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC); the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme; the World Toilet Organization; Water and Sanitation for Africa; and UNICEF.

Toilet Board Coalition publications

Toilet Board Coalition publications

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Lifebuoy premieres heart-breaking new film about the importance of handwashing

lifebuoy5 June 2014, London – In a follow up to its award-winning film, Gondappa, Unilever’s health soap, Lifebuoy has released a compelling new film, Tree of Life. The aim is to support Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach Five campaign and spread the word about the importance of handwashing with soap. The film is the story of a mother’s love, loss and longing after losing her child to a preventable disease such as diarrhoea.

unileverThe film follows a mother’s journey of love, loss and longing through her unique relationship with a tree, that highlights the importance of handwashing with soap. Tree of Life is inspired by folklore and this moving story is used to dramatise Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach 5 campaign.

A year ago Lifebuoy adopted Thesgora, a village in India and through its handwashing programmes dramatically improved children’s hand washing habits so that they now washed their hands 2 additional times per day. This year Lifebuoy takes its life saving mission to Bitobe in Indonesia and has created Tree of Life to raise awareness of their important mission.

Every 15 seconds, one child dies from diarrhoea or pneumonia, diseases that are preventable through the simple act of handwashing with soap.  That is 1.7 million children every year. Lifebuoy has taken its handwashing behaviour change programmes to 183 million people across the world, and now it is committed to change the handwashing behaviour of a billion people by 2015. This is part of Unilever’s commitment to help more than one billion people to improve their health and hygiene by 2020 under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Samir Singh, Global Brand VP, Lifebuoy, “It is unacceptable that 1.7 million children die every year from infectious diseases when we have cost effective lifesaving solutions, such as handwashing with soap, readily available. We wanted to tell the world the Lifebuoy story in a deeply emotional way and turn the Help A Child Reach 5 campaign into something personal and powerful.”

Unilever Lifebuoy Handwashing Campaign Reduces Diarrhea

Unilever Lifebuoy Handwashing Campaign Reduces Diarrhea from 36& to 5% in Indian Village unilever-logo

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.

Handwashing With Soap Can Help Us Achieve the Millennium Development Goals

Handwashing With Soap Can Help Us Achieve the Millennium Development Goals by Myriam Sidibe, Global Social Mission Director, Unilever-Lifebuoy | Source: Huffington Post blog, July 6, 2013

Being able to live a clean, active and healthy life should be a basic human right. Yet, this is not a privilege that everyone has — a point underscored by two high level reports last week.

Myriam Sidibe is Lifebuoy’s Global Social Mission Director.

Myriam Sidibe is Lifebuoy’s Global Social Mission Director.

UNICEF’s latest report reminds us that pneumonia and diarrhoea are the biggest killers of children globally, causing the deaths of approximately two million children under the age of five, every year. Meanwhile the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that despite significant progress, the world is unlikely to meet the fourth Millennium Development Goal — to reduce child mortality by two-thirds from 1990 levels.

Both reports come at a critical point in time: the world has less than three years to scale-up efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. At Unilever we want to scale-up our own efforts on this front.

UNICEF’s report points to areas where business can help achieve the fourth Millennium Development Goal. Not only can diarrhoea and pneumonia be prevented through basic best practices, including frequent handwashing with soap at key occasions, but also more awareness raising campaigns could reduce deaths caused by pneumonia by 30 percent and diarrhoea by 60 percent — potentially saving more than two million children by 2015. This would be a significant progress in the aim to achieve the fourth Millennium Development Goal and reduce infant mortality.

Although we’re seeing a steady increase in awareness raising campaigns that demonstrate the link between health and good hygiene — from the WHO’s Clean Care is Safe Care programme through to the Global Public Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap — more needs to be done to ensure that governments prioritise hygiene education programmes.

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Viet Nam: world’s first Unilever-sponsored Toilet Academy opens in 2012

Unilever is partnering with the World Toilet Organization (WTO) to set up Domestos Toilet Academies around the world, starting with a pilot Academy in Viet Nam opening in 2012.

The Domestos Toilet Academy will run month-long training courses for local people interested in setting up their own businesses to source, sell and maintain toilets, and educate local communities on the importance of sanitation.

In Viet Nam, only half the population has ‘some sort’ of sanitation facility, and 82% do not have access to facilities that meet the hygiene standards of the country’s Ministry of Health. “Only 12% of schools actually have hygienic toilet access, with rural areas suffering the most”, said WTO founder Jack Sim.

Unilever will also be partnering with UNICEF to help promote health through improved hygiene and access to toilets, stated Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever.

Domestos is the Unilever brand name for its bleach products (also sold as Domex, Glorix, Klinex).

Source: Unilever, 14 Nov 2011