Unilever’s Lifebuoy celebrates 6th Global Handwashing Day

Unilever’s soap Lifebuoy has called for hygiene to be recognised as a key intervention to reducing child mortality, both in the last 900 days before the Millennium Development Goal deadline and in the post-2015 development agenda.

Unilever’s soap Lifebuoy has called for hygiene to be recognised as a key intervention to reducing child mortality, both in the last 900 days before the Millennium Development Goal deadline and in the post-2015 development agenda.

14th October 2013 - KARACHI: Unilever’s soap Lifebuoy has called for hygiene to be recognised as a key intervention to reducing child mortality, both in the last 900 days before the Millennium Development Goal deadline and in the post-2015 development agenda.

The initiative is part of the celebrations of the 6th Global Handwashing Day (GHD) – a day co-founded by Unilever’s health soap brand Lifebuoy to raise awareness of handwashing with soap as a simple, but lifesaving habit. This day is celebrated in over a 100 countries every year and Lifebuoy, a global Unilever brand, is leading the charge for it in most countries.

In Pakistan Lifebuoy has been working relentlessly to inculcate the habit of handwashing in children for the last 4 years. Over 1 million children across Pakistan have been influenced directly through Lifebuoy’s programme, in collaboration with ITA.

With little over three years to go until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) including MDG 4 - to help reduce the mortality of children under five by two-thirds - Lifebuoy along with Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF) are visiting schools and communities across Pakistan to create awareness on handwashing with soap as an intervention that can help save millions more lives.

Reema Khan, filmstar and Lifebuoy Brand Ambassador recently unveiled a special comic book imparting the message of handwashing with soap for visually impaired children at a unique and emotionally inspiring event in Karachi.

The comic which brings to life Lifebuoy’s popular characters to the visually impaired children, was unveiled at the Ida Rieu Welfare Association (for Blind and Deaf). Speaking to the media at the occasion Reema shared, “Handwashing with soap is one of the most effective and low cost ways to prevent diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea. Research shows that handwashing with soap at key occasions can reduce the risk of diarrhoea by up to approximately 45%.”

Reema interacted with the children and also played games with them revolving around hand, soap and water. “All children fall sick and all children have a right to hygiene education. After having spent time with them today, I have learnt how equally wonderful, amazing and brave these kids are. I am thrilled that Lifebuoy has included visually impaired children into the programme and it has been a moving experience,” she added.

Ali Shabbar, Project Manager STEP, “According to the World Health Organization report for Pakistan in 2012, 41% of persons with disability die due to diarrhoea. In my 17 years of work I have never seen any inclusive material developed targeting health and hygiene for the visually impaired.”

Shehryar Khurshid, Marketing Manager, Unilever Pakistan shared, “Lifebuoy’s Mission Healthy Pakistan is for all Pakistanis. That is why we have developed these materials to ensure that visually impaired children can also benefit from hygiene messages. This is in continuation of our various efforts to create a healthier Pakistan.”

Sadia Dada, Manager Corporate Affairs, Unilever Pakistan shared, “You need to talk to children in their language and important messages can be communicated easily to children if done in a fun manner. Visually impaired children are no different which is why we wanted to bring our comic book to them.

It was tough developing the materials for the programme as little or no precedence exists especially in Pakistan. We came up with nothing at first but perseverance led us to able partners like STEP who converted the materials into Braille, trained all of us on the subject and made this possible.”

Reema was accompanied by Unilever Pakistan employees, including the Chairman to impart the message personally to the children. Unilever employees volunteer every year to participate in GHD activities and over 300 Unilever employees have already pledged this year to visit TCF and Teach for Pakistan Schools across Pakistan to reinforce the benefits of washing hands with soap.Lifebuoy is also leading a Clean Lahore activity in partnership with the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) this Eid.

Together, these programmes targeting school children, new mothers and community groups, all support Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan target – to help more than one billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020. So far Lifebuoy has changed the handwashing behaviour of 130 million people across the world.


Sadia Dada

Unilever Pakistan Limited
Avari Plaza
Fatimah Jinnah Road
Karachi 75530

+92-21-3 566 0062

sadia.dada@unilever.com

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