Diarrhoeal deaths: ‘Save a Child a Minute’ launched

Diarrhoea kills around 53,000 children annually in Pakistan

News Desk December 31, 2015

Reckitt Benckiser (RB), manufacturers of Dettol, and the Plan International Pakistan, a developmental sector organisation, have collaborated to design and test a new approach to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea among under-five children by improving the health, hygiene and sanitationconditions.

The RB and the Plan recently jointly launched an innovative behaviour 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, said a press release.

Alarmingly, diarrhoea is the second leading cause of deaths among under-five children and it kills around 53,000 children annually in Pakistan. Research also suggests that children who suffer two to three diarrhoeal episodes and survive diarrhoea in the initial two years of their life are vulnerable to malnutrition.

Speaking at the launch, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, who was the chief guest, said, “This is a brilliant and innovative initiative towards eradicating diarrhoea and a stepping stone for public-private partnerships to improve health conditions and empower local communities. The best part is that it is in line with the government’s vision 2025”.

Plan International Pakistan Country Director Rashid Javed, said, “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”.

RB Pakistan CEO Shahzeb Mehmood stated, “RB has always aimed to provide healthier homes and happier lives through trusted brands. 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 byhabit change”.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2016.


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