Hindustan Unilever’s health soap Lifebuoy announced the latest edition of its ‘Help a Child Reach 5; handwashing program with a special focus on the importance of hygiene in the neonatal period – the first 28 days of child’s life.
“Over half of deaths amongst children under the age of five occur in the first 28 days of life in India - the neonatal period when children are most vulnerable. To reduce child mortality, Hygiene, particularly handwashing with soap, is one of the most cost-effective ways to save child lives. Therefore, we have decided to focus our programme on neonatal care this year,” said Samir Singh, Executive Director, Hindustan Unilever on the insights behind the campaign.
Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign started in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh that has one of the highest rates of diarrhoea, and showcased remarkable results. Results showed reduction in reported incidence of diarrhoea from 36% to 5% in Thesgora.
Lifebuoy’s last film Gondappa got a phenomenal response and was very well received both nationally as well as globally. When asked about how the brand hopes to repeat this success, Singh said, “We hope to receive a similar response to this film as we did to Gondappa. We wanted to showcase a dream that we as parents all share - our children to be safe and healthy. This film shows Chamki talking to her mother from the future thanking her for taking good care of her especially during the neo natal stage.”
The brand’s new film has been created Lowe Lintas and shot by famous feature film director, Anand Gandhi. The film showcases the emotional journey of a pregnant mother and her aspirations for her child. It highlights the importance of doing something very simple, yet important during pregnancy and early in the child’s life: washing hands with soap.
Watch the film here:
CIFF and Hindustan Unilever via The Bhavishya Alliance Child Nutrition Initiatives also announced a partnership that aims to change the handwashing behaviours of 9 million children in Bihar. In the pilot on ground activities, the partnership reached out to 560,000 children in Bihar. The project aims to reach up to 50,000 government rural primary schools in nearly 30 districts in Bihar. This project will be delivered by almost 600 trained health promoters who will visit villages with targeted materials and activities for children and mothers to reinforce handwashing behaviours. This programme will also educate thousands of pregnant women and new mothers on the benefits of handwashing with soap.