Health & hygiene

Reducing diarrhoeal and respiratory disease

In the area of health and hygiene, through our WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) initiatives we focus on behaviour change programmes. Some of our home and personal care brands like Lifebuoy (handwashing programme), Domex (improved sanitation) and Pureit (providing safe drinking water) spearhead these behaviour change programmes across India. Our efforts in the area of health and hygiene have so far, reached over 125 million people in India.

Reducing diarrhoeal and respiratory disease through handwashing

Our Lifebuoy handwashing behaviour change initiatives help us in promoting the benefits of handwashing with soap at key times among people and encouraging them to sustain good handwashing behaviour. Till date, we have reached over 65 million people in India.

Help a child reach 5

The Lifebuoy ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ on-ground handwashing behaviour change programme was started in 2013 in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh that has one of the highest rates of child diarrhoea in India. This programme created a significant impact, with mothers reporting reduction in incidence of diarrhoea from 36% to 5%, and 26% more children washing their hands before meals.

During the same year, we piloted the handwashing programme in two districts of Bihar – Begusarai and Khagaria, reaching out to nearly one million people in partnership with Bihar government and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

We scaled up the programme to cover more districts in Bihar and reach out to more number of people. This time, Lifebuoy took its message to new mothers, building awareness and improving hand hygiene habits during the crucial first 28 days after delivery, when mothers and their babies need it the most.

As a part of the on-ground programme in Bihar, around 600 health promoters trained by us visit government rural primary schools in Bihar four times in a 21-day period to engage with students. In 2015 alone, over four lakh children were covered under the programme, while since inception, the programme has reached over six lakh children. Over the next three years, 45 million people are expected to benefit through this programme in partnership with CIFF and Government of Bihar.

Chamki Film

To support the behaviour change campaign, we launched a film ‘Chamki’ that showcases the emotional journey of a pregnant woman who is excited at the prospect of being a mother. Her excitement is contrasted with the agony and doubt about her child’s survival post birth. She ponders whether her child will survive or will meet the fate of those other children in her village who succumbed to diarrhoea and pneumonia in the first few weeks of their birth.

The film received 14 million views on YouTube and was the most viewed advertisement on YouTube in 2015.

Global Handwashing Day

Every year, on 15 October, we celebrate Global Handwashing Day (GHD) to spread the message on importance of handwashing habits among school children. On this occasion of GHD, our employees reach out to children in schools across India. HUL factory employees too, spend a day with children in rural schools to create awareness about handwashing. The programme highlights include storytelling, interactive games and taking a pledge to drive the importance of handwashing five key times a day.

In 2015, HUL reached out to over two lakh children across 125 schools in seven cities of India. Over 2,000 HUL employees across factories and offices took time off to spend a day with school children to create awareness about handwashing.

Providing safe drinking water

Pureit’s most affordable range of purifiers provides safe drinking water at a running cost of just 30 paise per litre, without the hassles of boiling, without the need of electricity or a continuous tap water supply. In India, Pureit has provided over 70 billion litres of safe drinking water till date.

We have also been partnering with existing micro-finance institutions (MFIs) to make water purifiers more accessible for people at the bottom of the pyramid. In 2015, Pureit Partnerships extended their footprint to new geographies such as Punjab and continued to provide safe drinking water to low income households in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Improving access to sanitation

Domex Toilet Academy is our market-based, entrepreneurial model that provides people access to sanitation in rural communities. In partnership with the social enterprise eKutir and NGO Population Services International (PSI), the DTA programme trains entrepreneurs and masons to supply, install and maintain toilets for local households; builds supply chains for sanitation hardware; provides access to micro-financing and creates demand for sanitation in underserved communities. The objective is to reduce the incidence of open defecation and improve proper sanitation thereby promoting the adoption of healthy, hygienic habits.

Till date, DTA has trained 255 micro-entrepreneurs. DTA has helped build over 30,000 toilets in Indian households as reported by our partners PSI and eKutir. This has benefitted an estimated 160,000 people in four states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar.

Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat

We launched ‘Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat’ programme in line with Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) to promote good health and hygiene practices. Given the scale of challenges that India faces in the areas of WASH, this programme is an effort to help India realise the goals of Clean India Mission by 2019.

This programme promotes good health and hygiene practice by stressing the need to adopt three simple good habits (‘Swachh Aadat’) – washing hands five times a day, using a toilet for defecation and adopting safe drinking water practices.

The Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat programme has three key thrusts: An on-ground behaviour change model, a mass media campaign to drive engagement and awareness and mobile education on health and hygiene led by our factory workers.

Improve self-esteem

At Dove, we believe no girl should be held back from reaching her full potential. However, anxiety over appearance keeps girls from being their best selves, affecting their health, friendships, and even performance at school. For more than 10 years, we’ve been helping young people with self-esteem education, reaching over three lakh people so far. The main contributors to our success have been our partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and scaling our digital presence in spreading awareness to build self-esteem among girls.

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