Boosting environmental sanitation to prevent diseases
RB takes ‘Clean Naija’ Campaign to teaching hospitals nationwide
Several studies have shown that dirty and polluted environment is the major cause of the spread of infectious and chronic diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid fever, cancer and heart diseases.
Some studies have also shown that the recent spread of Lassa fever in a number of communities in different parts of the country and the Ebola virus was as a result of poor personal and environmental hygiene.
The primary animal host of the Lassa virus is the Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis), an animal found in most of sub-Saharan Africa. The virus is probably transmitted by contact with the faeces or urine of animals accessing grain stores in residences.
Also, a new study published in PLOS suggests that areas of increased poverty are associated with higher rates of Ebola virus transmission.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 2.4 billion people globally live under highly unsanitary conditions and have such poor hygiene behaviours that their exposure to risks of incidence and spread of infectious diseases, are enormous; and poor hygienic conditions cause approximately 2.2 million annual deaths, mostly of children under the age of five years.
However, the WHO said that efforts should shifted from emergency response to prevention and mitigation of future outbreaks of diseases through thorough hygienic practices and environmental hygiene.
The WHO defines the term “sanitation” as follows: “Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. The word ‘sanitation’ also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.”
In Nigeria, various governments and organisations are championing environmental sanitation exercises as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) and to prevent diseases.
Top on the list is Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB) with the introduction of Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner in its ‘Clean Naija’ Campaign, which has visited all Teaching Hospitals in the six geo-political zones of the country including the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH), University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UNIPORT), University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Oyo State, and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Zaria, Kaduna State.
The new product was unveiled at the premises of LUTH with a public awareness campaign tagged ‘Dettol Clean Naija’. In his welcome address during the event the Marketing Director RB West Africa, Oguzhan Silivrili said, “Dettol Clean Naija is a public awareness campaign to draw the attention of our consumers to the need of promoting best hygiene practices across different platforms. This campaign does not only introduce the new product but also making a difference on the grass root level via actively cleaning places like the Emergency and Accident Unit at LUTH where a germ free environment is of utmost priority in order to break the chain of contagious diseases.”
According to Silivrili, “This campaign brings like-minded institutions like LUTH and other health conscious institutions across Nigeria to promote jointly best hygiene practices, including personal and surface hygiene. The Clean Naija initiative team will travel from city to city and Nigerians will decide which places to clean through voting on the social media platforms.
He added: ‘If you believe that a certain indoor location like a hospital, school, church or a mosque needs to be cleaned with Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner please join to the Dettol Clean Naija campaign and vote. We need to keep the indoor surfaces clean and germ free in order to protect our loved ones from falling ill due to preventable diseases. The new Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner is 10 times better cleaning solution versus detergents and bleach and ensures a thoroughly clean and germ free environment.”
Commending RB’s innovativeness for the new product at the end of the launching and cleaning exercise, the chairman Medical advisory committee LUTH, Prof. Olufemi Fasanmade who represented the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, said: “The product is a timely intervention into the surface cleaning category, because of the sharp rise in preventable illnesses such as the recent Lassa fever fear that engulfed the nation, especially amongst the children due to their playful tendencies.
Fasanmade therefore encouraged Nigerians, that prevention is always better than cure, it is important to keep hands and surroundings always germ free.
Indeed, RB, the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company is set to revolutionize the surface cleaning segment with the introduction of its new product, Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner. This new revolutionary product is a confirmation of RB’s vision of healthier homes and happier lives through innovative home and personal care solutions.
Growing hygiene needs has become a top priority for every Nigerian after the 2014 Ebola and 2015 Lassa epidemics. In addition, the public is becoming very cautious on diseases as more than one hundred thousand kids die every year due to preventable diseases like diarrhoea.
One of the startling facts is that 8Oper cent of these illness-causing germs are acquired at home from different surfaces like floors, kitchen tops and washbasins. However while cleaning the surfaces Nigerians have been using suboptimal solutions like detergents, which do not kill germs or bleach, which does not properly remove stains and compromising on all-day freshness.