Leading national experts confer at Lifebuoy symposium on child health

Experts and leading practitioners in the fields of hygiene, nutrition, education and child health participate.

A national symposium on child health was organized today at New Delhi by Lifebuoy, India’s leading health and hygiene soap brand from Hindustan Unilever.

Experts and leading practitioners in the fields of hygiene, nutrition, education and child health representing prominent institutions and organizations such as The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS),St. John’s Medical College, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), Diabetes Foundation of India (DFI), Association of Adoloscent Child Care in India (AACCI) and Scientific Advisor to Lifebuoyand Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) participated in the 1st Lifebuoy National Child Health Symposium 2009. 

The one-day symposium was inaugurated by Ms Sujata Rao, The Secretary, Department of AIDS Control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Director General NACO, Govt. of India and Mr. Nitin Paranjpe, CEO, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Speaking on the occasion Ms Sujata Rao said, “This is an interesting and important initiative that Lifebuoy has taken. It is heartening to see prominent institutions such as NIMHANS and others participating in the symposium. Such partnerships are valuable to the cause. The endeavor to provide a healthy and enabling environment to our children so that they realize their full potential will contribute significantly to ensuring that we as a country actually reap the demographic dividend.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Nitin Paranjpe said, “Through the Lifebuoy Symposium we hope to make a contribution, in our own small way, by bringing multi-functional experts,practitioners and policy-makerstogether on one platform for a better understanding of child health and towards formulating interventions needed to make a positive and sustainable impact on child health. The most important and pressing taks for us a country today is to invest behind the health and education of our children.”

5 key factors influencing child health

The symposium focused on 5 key factors influencing child health – Nutrition, Hygiene, Education, Physical Environment and Socio-Psychological Environment, with focus on interventions that can be put in place and implemented easily by teachers in schools andby parents at home towards improving child health on a sustainable basis.

Each of the sessions were Chaired by different subject experts. The Nutrition session was chaired by Dr. Swati Bhave, Executive Director, AACCI and the Education session was chaired by Ms. Saroj Bala Yadav, National Council of Education Research Training, the Hygiene session was chaired by Mr. Sudhanshu Vats, Vice President, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., The session on physical environment was chaired by Dr. Y.L. Tekhre, National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, and the session on Socio-Psychological Environment was chaired by Dr. Shekhar Sheshadri, NIMHANS.

More than 100 professionals, including academics and representatives from leading NGOs such as Care India, Navjyoti Foundation, USAID and WASH among others participated in the symposium. They deliberated on the various interventions required in each of the five focus areas. The symposium ended with a Recommendation Group on each subject drawing up conclusions and putting forth suggestions for parents, schools, community and the government. The various Recommendation Groups unanimously endorsed the need for strengthening early childhood programmes and research as an effective means to improve child health.

The symposium will culminate with the presentation of the inaugural Lifebuoy National Child Health Awards. The awards will be presented across six categories to six NGOs for exemplary work in Nutrition, Education, Hygiene, Physical Environment, Psycho-Social Environment. The winners were chosen by an eminent advisory board from a pool of 119 entries received from across the country. The award application process was facilitated by IndianNGOs.com. The award selection process was also validated by IMRB.

Advisory board

The Symposium advisory board comprises ofDr. D. Nagaraja, Director & Vice Chancellor, National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Dr. B. Sesikeran, Director National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Ms Ranjana Saikia, Associate Director, Social Transformation Division, Mr. Sudhanshu Vats, Vice President Home Care and Personal Wash, HUL, Dr. Swati Y. Bhave, Executive Director, Association of Adolescent Child Care in India (AACCI).

About Lifebuoy:

The Lifebuoy National Child Health Awards are being instituted by India’s leading health and hygiene soap brand Lifebuoy. Lifebuoy has been synonymous with health and hygiene since it first landed on Indian shores in 1895 at Bombay harbour. It has been spreading the message of health and hygiene for the last 100 years, and over 70% of India has used Lifebuoy at least once a year. The famous Lifebuoy jingle “Tandurusti ki raksha karta hai Lifebuoy, Lifebuoy hai jahan tandurusti hai wahan” is like the health anthem of India and Indians.

Lifebuoy lives its vision “Making a billion Indians feel safe and secure by meeting all their health and hygiene needs.” Lifebuoy’s Swasthya Chetna is the single largest rural health and hygiene educational programme ever undertaken in India. Its objective is to educate people about basic hygienic habits, including washing hands with soap. Having started in 2002, the project has touched 50,676 villages across 9 states of India, impacting the lives of over 12 crore people. In the year 2006, the Indian Postal Department released a special Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna Postal Cover in recognition of this humungous effort.

The Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna 2007- Your City is Callingwas the brand’s first steps into Urban India, to create awareness about Cleanliness and hence health & hygiene in urban India. It was sharpened into the Lifebuoy Child Health Quotient 2009. The Lifebuoy CHQ, a perception study amongst mothers across 17 cities, probed on what they believe are the parameters that gauge their child’s health and what factors they believe affect it within their city.

The initiative of conducting the National Child Health Symposium stems from the top factors that mothers believe affect their child’s health. This also led to the idea of launching the first ever National Child Health Awards for those working in the field of child health to recognise their exemplary efforts. With the institution of these awards, the brand takes yet another step in the direction of novel health initiatives.

About Hindustan Unilever Limited

HUL is India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods company, touching the lives of two out of three Indians. HUL’s mission is to “add vitality to life” through its presence in over 20 distinct categories in Home & Personal Care Products and Foods & Beverages. The company meets everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care, with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

Hindustan Unilever Limited

Hindustan Unilever Limited,
Unilever House,
B. D. Sawant Marg,
Chakala, Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400 099.

T: +91 22 39830000 
F: +91 22 22871970


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