Save a Child a Minute from Diarrhoeal Disease, A Global Killer…!!!

15:47:00

Many of us think of diarrhoea as a common disease and don’t take it seriously. However, most people are not aware of the fact that diarrhoeal disease is one of the biggest global killers. It is one of the leading causes of death among the developing world's children. Each year, diarrhoea kills around 53000 children under five and is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. 25 million cases have been reported annually in Pakistan alone.

Save a Child a Minute from Diarrhoeal Disease,  A Global Killer
These statistics related to diarrhoeal disease are really alarming. However we need to know that diarrhoea is both preventable and treatable. Interventions to prevent diarrhoea include safe drinking-water, use of improved sanitation and hand washing with soap. There and few more small steps can save children from this killer. These include low-osmolality ORS and zinc, rota virus vaccine, exclusive breast feeding, vitamin A supplementation, hand washing with soap at critical times, stop open defecation, household water treatment and safe storage.
Image Source: Voice4nations.org
Reckitt Benckiser (RB), manufacturers of Dettol, and Plan International Pakistan, a developmental sector organization, have collaborated to design and test a new approach to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea amongst under-five children by improving the health, hygiene and sanitation conditions. On December 8, 2015 RB and Plan jointly launched an innovative behavior changing campaign, “Save a Child a Minute” in Pakistan. The vision is to stop deaths from diarrhoea by empowering women and creating wealth for local communities.
Save a Child a Minute Campaign Launch
Rashid Javed, Country Director Plan International Pakistan gave his remarks at the launch event: “Based on our experience of Sanitation Marketing we are now moving forward to test a new model of women entrepreneurship. The model is based on helping communities to adopt improved hygiene behaviours and sustaining them through a sustainable supply chain. Establishing a system of supply and demand and linking it with women entrepreneur/Women hygienist is an idea which will ultimately help these women to earn their livelihood while helping their communities to promote health by adopting improved behaviours for water, sanitation and hygiene.”

CEO RB Pakistan highlighted the key points of the projects at the launch event. During his speech he stated: “RB has always aimed to provide healthier homes and happier lives through trusted brands such as Dettol, Mortein, Harpic and many more. This global initiative simultaneously being run in Pakistan, Nigeria and India seeks to eradicate diarrhoea and improve general health and hygiene of the low- income consumers by habit change. Through global research and technology, RB has designed a low-cost antibacterial soap under the Dettol brand, a complete new formulation specifically for this purpose. The aim is to interactively educate consumers about health and hygiene, provide them with affordable health and sanitary solutions.”

The campaign emphasizes on empowering women by providing them with health and sanitation products that can help them fight diseases like diarrhoea. Locally hired women from lower economic class are given these goods (from RB and other private partners such as Searle, Shan Foods, Peak Freans and Santex) at a discount and they sell them door-to-door and earn a commission on them.
Behaviour Changing Model to Eradicate Diarrhoea
Distribution Network Flow
Haider Sheikh explained the overall model and tactical plan of this project. The main behaviour changing model presented by the company to eradicate diarrhoea consists of three basic pillars; Educating and creating awareness about the cause of this disease, providing innovative low-cost products that help prevent diarrhoea and empowering women through and inclusive business model.

MNA Phyllis Azeem was the chief guest at the launch event and she assured government's support for the cause in her speech. The project is in line with the government vision project 2025. Currently the government is collaborating for the pilot, it can further look into jointly up-scaling the campaign at a national level.

In the next 6 months, RB and Plan will cover 600 households in Dhori, a village in Sargodha. Later on, “Save a Child a Minute” will be scaled up nationally by RB and Plan in close coordination with the federal and provincial government to support the Government’s Vision 2025 project.

This is a really brilliant and remarkable initiative by RB and Plan towards eradicating dirrhoea. Such a campaign will save lives of millions of children from this killer disease. We wish team RB and Plan all the best for this project and hope that this initiative will help eradicate this killer from the society.

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