By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Dettol, the leading antibacterial brand at the weekend commemorated the Global Handwashing Day (GHD) in Abuja with over 2,000 school children.
The organisers said the event which is celebrated every 15th October, 2018, was organized on Friday to bring the students together and sensitize them about proper hygiene.
Also, the event saw students drawn from 7 public and private schools which have benefited from Dettol’s School Hygiene Programme across 4 Local Governments in the FCT.
At the event, Dettol also donated 12 hand washing stations to help facilitate and maintain the habit of proper handwashing by the school children.
Speaking at which held at L.E.A Model Primary School, Maitama, Abuja, the General Manager, RB West Africa, Mr. Dayanand Sriram, called on all Nigerians to imbibe the handwashing habit as a day-to-day activity for the reduction of diarrhoea related diseases.
On the event which officially kicks off today, he said proper handwashing practices according to recent findings by the World Health Organisation can reduce communicable diseases by more than 59%.
Siriram added that Dettol brand has been known for promoting good hygiene practices amongst millions of Nigerians, especially children in the last eight years, through the regular school outreaches and its School Hygiene Programme.
“Dettol has been the trusted champion for good health and hygiene for over 50 years in Nigeria, and we believe that it is important to inculcate good habits such as proper handwashing at an early age. A simple act of washing hands with soap can prevent illnesses and arrest diarrhoea related deaths. This is why we are continuing with the tradition of driving habit change, and provision of needed infrastructure.
“Over the past years, Dettol has provided handwashing sites and educated over 7 million children, parents and teachers about the importance of handwashing through the School Hygiene Program, which is a mass education program about proper handwashing and hygiene habits,” he added.
The General Manager further said that Dettol has also executed various activities promoting healthy lifestyle such as donation of hand wash sites to schools, organising workshops for nursing mothers and partnering with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), amongst other professional bodies.
Also speaking, Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole said “Handwashing with soap can prevent transmission of variety of pathogens as it may be more effective than any single vaccine or hygiene behavior.”
Represents by the National Coordinator, Food Safety & Quality Programme, Mr. Fubara Chuku, The Honourable Minister applauded the efforts of Reckitt Benckise (RB) in promoting good hygiene amongst Nigerians.
“I would like to express my delight to Reckitt Benckiser for organizing this celebration of Global Handwashing Day. This is a demonstration of your commitment to the course of reducing diseases transmission in the country and meeting the target of the SDGs.”
Dettol has been running various health and hygiene programmes across Nigeria targeted at children and mothers. New mothers are educated from the birth of their children on healthy hygiene habits across various milestones of their newborns’ lives. Over 1 million new mothers are engaged every year through the programme in public hospitals and clinics across the country.