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‘Handwashing with soap more effective than any single vaccine or hygiene behavior’ – Minister of Health

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has expressed his appreciation for the efforts of Reckitt Benckiser (RB), producers of Dettol a leading antibacterial brand, in promoting good hygiene practices in Nigeria. This was made known in a speech presented at Dettol’s 2018 Global Handwashing Day Event organised by RB in Abuja.

The Minister, who was represented by Mr. Fubara Chuku, National Coordinator, Food Safety and Quality Programme at the Ministry of Health, said, “Handwashing with soap can prevent transmission of variety of pathogens as it may be more effective than any single vaccine or hygiene behavior.

“I would like to express my delight to Reckitt Benckiser for organizing this celebration of Global Handwashing Day. This is a demonstration of your commitment to the course of reducing diseases transmission in the country and meeting the target of the SDGs.”

Ever since its inception a decade ago, communities and national leaders worldwide have used Global Handwashing Day, held on October 15, to echo and reinforce the call for improved hygiene practices. Dettol, as an antibacterial brand has also been leading the charge of educating the Nigerian masses on the risks of disease-bearing germs and the benefits of handwashing, especially with the younger generation.

During the event marking this year’s GHD in Abuja, over 2,000 school children drawn from 7 public and private schools which have benefited from Dettol’s School Hygiene Programme across 4 Local Governments in the FCT, participated in a symbolic hand-wash relay. The event held at L.E.A Model Primary School, Maitama, Abuja, where Dettol also donated 12 hand washing stations to help facilitate and maintain the habit of proper handwashing by the school children.

Present at the event were Mrs. Jumai Muhammed, Director, Child Development, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, representing Minister Of Women Affairs, Mr. Fubara Chuku, National Coordinator Food Safety and Quality Programme, representing the Honorable Minister of Health, Katherine Arron Rengkwar, Headmistress of L.E.A Model Primary School, Maitama, Abuja, and senior executives of RB West Africa

In the words of the General Manager, RB West Africa, Mr. Dayanand Sriram, “Dettol has been the trusted champion for good health and hygiene for over 50 years in Nigeria, and we believe that it is important to inculcate good habits such as proper handwashing at an early age. A simple act of washing hands with soap can prevent illnesses and arrest diarrhoea related deaths. This is why we are continuing with the tradition of driving habit change, and provision of needed infrastructure.

“Dettol has provided handwashing sites and educated over 7 million children, parents and teachers about the importance of handwashing through the School Hygiene Program, which is a mass education program about proper handwashing and hygiene habits,” he added.

As Nigeria’s leading antibacterial brand, Dettol through effective hygiene education over the years, is driving a national vision to provide innovative solutions and products for healthier lives and happier homes. Over the past 7 years, the brand has provided over handwashing sites, while educating over 7 million children, parents and teachers on the importance of hand washing through the School Hygiene Program, which is a mass consumer education project.

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