by Nicole Wood

Proper hygiene saves lives

Washing your hands can save your life

Hygiene is vital to reduce illness
Washing hands saves lives

In South Africa, childhood infections such as pneumonia and diarrhoea account for approximately 30% of deaths in children under the age of five.

Studies have shown that handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these deaths. In fact, it can decrease these illnesses, in children under five, by up to 75%.

Dettol has developed a unique portable water bag that makes handwashing easier, particularly in rural areas in South Africa where access to water is often limited. 

“At Dettol it is our passion to improve lives by educating for better health for all. It fuels everything we do and it is backed by our long-standing expertise in disinfection and hygiene,” states Arvind Nevatia, Category Manager: Dettol South Africa.

 “That is why we are visiting 100 disadvantaged schools, in anticipation of Global Handwashing Day. Our objective: To provide hygiene education around handwashing with soap and to create conveniently located handwashing stations in schools and communities with our unique and hugely practical invention, the Dettol portable water bag. We are aiming to distribute at least 1 500 of these bags to schools, which will affect 100 000 children, by Global Handwashing Day on October 15.”

 “We know that most infections are preventable by cleaning hands at the right times and in the right way,” explains Nevatia. “And the right way is to use soap and running water. Our challenge is to turn hand washing with soap from a good idea into automatic behaviour carried out in homes, schools, workplaces and communities.”

The Dettol portable water bag has a tap for easy opening and closing, preventing a waste of water, as well as a net pouch holding a Dettol soap for quick and efficient cleaning. A convenient hook at the top of the bag allows it to be hung from a tree, a fence or a wall. What makes the bag such an effective educational tool is that the instructions on the six steps to effective handwashing with soap are printed on the bag with clear illustrations ensuring that the educational message cuts across all languages and cultures.

Concludes Nevatia, “In South Africa millions of people only have communal access to clean water and the under-five mortality rate remains at least four times higher amongst the underprivileged. Knowledge empowers communities and increased awareness of hygienic practices prevents illness. We are determined to do what it takes to allow all South Africans to thrive in a healthy world. The education programme around our portable water bag is ongoing as we know that it can play a huge role in reducing illness and improving the lives of thousands of South Africans.”

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