The federal ministry of water resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria, makers of antiseptic brand, Dettol to promote a national campaign on how to achieve a cleaner and healthier Nigeria.
The MoU for the campaign tagged the ‘Clean Naija Initiative’ was signed in Abuja between the Minister of water resources Suleiman Hussein Adamu and the general manager of Reckitt Benckiser in West Africa, Dayanand Sriram.
Speaking at the signing ceremony which was well attended by the top officials of the Ministry and the leadership team of RB Nigeria, health professionals, the Minister expressed confidence that the partnership will build a great level of awareness and behavioura change among Nigerians.
“With this partnership between RB Nigeria and the Federal Government, we hope to build a greater level of awareness and achieve behavioural change amongst Nigerians, such that will lead to more hygienic practices and ultimately, a healthier population.”
Reports have placed Nigeria amongst the top nations that bear a significant portion of the global disease burden and high under-5 mortality rates. Many of these diseases, according to reports, such as diarrhoea can be prevented by proper hand washing habits and wide scale hygiene education.
“This is a major motivation for the setting up of the Clean Naija Initiative.”
Also speaking, the general manager of RB west Africa, Dayanand Sriram said “The Clean Naija Initiative was developed as an all-inclusive campaign with various levels and phases aimed at creating awareness, education and driving behavioural change to achieve a cleaner and healthier Nigeria. Our clear objectives are: to reduce diarrhoea related child mortality in Nigeria in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, to reduce Malaria related deaths in Nigeria, and to reduce open defecation menace in Nigeria.”
RB Nigeria, through the Dettol brand, has over the years developed a number of programs committed to tackling public health and hygiene issues. These include The School Hygiene Program, through which RB has educated over seven million children on proper hand hygiene habits, and the New Mum’s Program, through which the company has educated over five million pregnant and new mothers on hygienic practices to protect them during the pre- and post- phases of their pregnancies.
The MoU and Dettol’s Clean Naija Initiative was coming at a time when a lot of people in Nigeria are exposed to communicable diseases – with children being the most susceptible. The program is expected to contribute to individual-led behaviour change that improves public health nationwide.