More than 1,700 students participate in islandwide handwashing events
Singapore, – Today over 1,700 students from 7 primary schools and kindergartens across Singapore joined over 250 volunteers from Unilever and Dow Chemical to celebrate the 8th Global Handwashing Day, by simultaneously washing their hands at midday. The annual event, in which Unilever Lifebuoy soap is a founding partner, aims to raise awareness on the importance of hand washing with soap to reduce preventable childhood diseases.
Launched in 2008, Global Handwashing Day is designed to foster and support a culture of hand hygiene, bringing awareness to the lifesaving habit of handwashing with soap. This year, Lifebuoy is encouraging new mothers to adopt positive hand hygiene habits during the newborn period, when mothers and their babies are most vulnerable to infection.
Kartik Chandrasekhar, Global Brand Vice-President, Lifebuoy said: “Over 40% of under-five deaths occur within the first 28 days of a child’s life and every year, 1.7 million under the age of five die from diarrhoea and pneumonia – the top 2 causes of child mortality. Handwashing with soap can greatly reduce these deaths. Lifebuoy is committed to educating parents and young children in Singapore about adopting good hand hygiene behaviour to avoid preventable illnesses.“
According to the Health Promotion Board, handwashing is an effective way to prevent the spread of illnesses, such as influenza and hand, foot and mouth disease. To instill a sense of fun when teaching children how to keep their hands clean, the Health Promotion Board has a handwashing jingle which schools, parents and caregivers can use to encourage their children to participate actively in handwashing. The catchy jingle also helps them to remember the various steps in handwashing.
Dow Chemical, a partner of Unilever in the formulation of the Lifebuoy soap believes that it takes more than just delivering a game-changing solution to improve hygiene. Supporting Unilever on the ground through educating young children on good handwashing habits is putting sustainability into real action.
Timm Teo, 26, volunteer from Unilever Future Leaders Program said, “I’ve been volunteering for Global Handwashing Day since 2013. I do this every year because I know the simple act of handwashing can prevent illnesses among our youngest and most vulnerable.”
As part of Lifebuoy’s commitment to decreasing child mortality and to the Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan of improving health and wellbeing, Lifebuoy aims to change the handwashing behaviour of one billion people by 2020.
For videos on Help A Child Reach 5, please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpfAIVLEdyTp-HoALoz-gRw
Darren Foo at Hive Consulting for Unilever
+65 8354 1390
About the Help A Child Reach 5 campaign
- Handwashing with soap saves lives. Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign aims to eradicate preventable deaths from diseases like diarrhoea one village at a time, by teaching lifesaving handwashing habits.
- To drive awareness of the campaign, Lifebuoy created a moving film on what it means for a child to reach the age of 5: www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5
- In 2013, Lifebuoy launched its Help a Child Reach 5 handwashing campaign in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh with one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in India. Through its handwashing programmes, Lifebuoy dramatically improved children’s handwashing habits so that they now washed their hands two additional times per day.
- Lifebuoy isn’t stopping at Thesgora. It wants to expand its life-saving mission, village by village, starting with Bitobe village in Indonesia earlier this year and will continue across villages in South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Notes to Editors
Public Private Partnership for Handwashing
With the Public Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) Lifebuoy co-founded Global Washing Day in 2009 to bring greater attention to handwashing as a key public intervention. Today, the PPPHW is present in 15 countries across four continents.
This intervention also aims to contribute to Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) - to reduce the mortality of children under five by two-thirds by 2015. Handwashing with soap is one of the most effective and low cost ways to prevent diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea, which stop 1.7 million children every year reaching their fifth birthday. Put simply, this modest but lifesaving act could help a lot more children reach the age of five.
As the world’s leading health soap, Lifebuoy aims to make a difference by creating accessible hygiene products (soap) and promoting healthy hygiene habits. With this in mind, Lifebuoy aims to change the hand washing behaviour of one billion people by 2020. Since 2010 Lifebuoy has changed the hand washing behaviours of 183 million people across 16 countries.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013).
Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainableliving/.
Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2013 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the third year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.
For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit http://www.unilever.com
Unilever Singapore Pte Ltd
20 Pasir Panjang Road, #06-22
Mapletree Business City
1 800 661 9898
1 800 661 9767