In a strategic move to advance good hygiene practices across the nation, global hygiene company Reckitt through its Dettol brand in Nigeria has partnered with leading non-governmental organization, Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) for accelerated Hygiene education in schools, communities, and healthcare facilities using the Dettol Hygiene Quest Curriculum, a collaboration which also coincides with the 2022 Global Handwashing Day campaign.
The public presentation and official flag off the Partnership was held on Thursday, 13th September 2022 in Lagos State. In attendance were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, the State Basic Education Fund, leaders from both organizations, stakeholders in the health and education sectors from Lagos state, Kwara state and the FCT, Abuja.
The Dettol Hygiene Quest curriculum aims to educate, empower and inspire 6 million school children to practice healthy hygiene habits, to achieve a 20% increase in hand washing incidence, reduce diarrhea cases by 10% and achieve a 10% decline in absenteeism by 2025. In the pilot program amongst public schools in 20 LGAs within Lagos State, the curriculum reached over 85,000 school children, and results from the Impact assessment showed a 34% increase in knowledge of proper handwashing, and a 7% reduction in diarrhoea amongst the participants after the intervention.
Over the next 12 months, Dettol Nigeria in partnership with the WBFA, will be accelerating the Hygiene Quest’s program in the FCT, Abuja, Lagos and Kwara State with the aim to educate and aid behaviour change in children’s hygiene habits and reduce the incidence of illness and sick days from school. This in turn will have a profound, generational, impact on health, education, and development.
Speaking on the partnership at the event, Head of External Communications and Partnerships, Reckitt Sub-Saharan Africa, Cassandra Uzo-Ogbugh, on behalf of the General Manager, Reckitt Sub Saharan Africa, Akbar Ali Shah, expressed the company’s optimism for the partnership. “At Reckitt, we are driven by our purpose, which is to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner and healthier world. Reckitt’s commitment to Nigeria has been and continues to support efforts that promote the health and well-being of Nigerians. This partnership will not only aid Reckitt’s goal of reaching 6 million Nigerian children by 2025 with behavioral changing education, it will also provide a whole new avenue for decreasing the current child mortality rate caused by hygiene related issues”. She continued, “We believe that Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s track record and goals on WASH in Nigeria make them a strategic partner with a shared vision to educate on, and prevent the transmission of hygiene related diseases”.
Also speaking at the event was Wellbeing Foundation Africa National Programs Lead, Dr. Franco Apiyanteide who delivered the opening remarks on behalf of the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Her Excellency Toyin, Ojora Saraki. “Since its inception in 2004, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa has shown consistent leadership in the area of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and this is exemplified by one of our legacy programs, the Personal, Social, and Health Education(PSHE), and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Education initiative started in 2018 which engaged at the duel levels of community based interventions and WASH in Schools”, “The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBA) has gone one step further by incorporating Hygiene Quest into our flagship Mamacare Antenatal and Postnatal Education program, a platform that has to date reached over 570 hospitals, both public and private in 7 states within Nigeria States, servicing over 230,000 women. This will give Hygiene Quest a broader outreach through Mamacare community and health Facility networks, with the overall objective of accelerating the program to meet its ambition of reaching 6 million Nigerians by 2025.”
Other stakeholders who were present at the official unveiling of the project include Royal Fathers, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ghalib Adeniyi, and representatives of Ministry of Health, Lagos State Waste Management Agency, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, National Association of Nurses and Midwives, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, amongst many others, who delivered goodwill messages pledging their support and collaboration to Reckitt and Wellbeing Foundation Africa on the Hygiene Quest Program.