Reckitt Benckiser (RB), the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene Company has proposed partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria to fight diarrhoea which claims the lives nearly 100,000 children less than 5 years of age annually. The initiative is in the tune of about 7.2 Billion Naira out of which Nigeria will access about 1.2 Billion for “creating a Healthier and Prosperous nation.”
The RB West Africa and Global team members along with Save The Children representatives visited the office of The Vice President, His Excellency, Hon. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to share the proposal and discuss avenues of partnership with government to further the social and economic goals in the country.
Rahul Murgai, the Managing Director, RB West Africa shared RB’s global vision is to provide our consumers with innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. He further shared that RB has been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years and remains one of the key priority markets for continued focus and investment. Accordingly RB has been working to create a culture of health and hygiene and is present in country with its portfolio of trusted brands like Dettol, Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Durex, Harpic, Mortein, and Air Wick. He further stated that RB is not looking at Nigerian opportunity over short term but see a longer term potential and that Nigeria will remain the epicenter for African growth and plays an important strategic role in serving and developing other key markets in West Africa.
With Dettol, a trusted name among Nigerian households and mothers, we have been actively partnering with Ministry of Health, Nigerian Medical Association, Save The Children and other NGOs to create scaled awareness around good health and hygiene. As part of our ongoing commitment, we have already reached 5 million mothers and 3.9 million school children over last 6 years to improve maternal health and reduced infant mortality in line with Nigeria commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.
However, these interventions though in right direction, need much greater participation and scale from like-minded corporates, NGOs and government if we were to build a truly healthier and prosperous nation. The Water and Sanitation Program Research reports that Nigeria loses N455bln annually which is 1.3% of GDP to poor sanitation and hygiene which increases the risk of disease and malnutrition making it an urgent priority for all the stakeholders and society. We believe that the implementation of National Health Act, Rota-Virus and Wash Policy will all contribute to making Nigeria healthier.
The impact is startling in human terms- reveal that ‘one child dies every minute’ under the age of 5 from preventable diseases, specifically diarrhoea. Accordingly, we are announcing the ground breaking ‘Save a Child a Minute’ program in partnership with Save The Children and Lagos State government being piloted in Shomolu LGA where we are working to reduce prevalence and incidence of diarrhoea by 50% and mortality by 80%. What makes the program ground-breaking is that for the first time, a holistic approach on the WHO Seven (7) point plan is being implemented in Africa. The learnings are being shared with the Federal government in anticipation of creating a national movement to fast scale the program.
The RB delegation included- Rahul Murgai, Managing Director, RB West Africa; Andrew Fleming, Deputy Head of Political Section, British High Commissioner; Patty O’ Hayer, RB Global Head of External Communications & Affairs; Chief Olu Falomo, Chairman RB Nigeria; Oguzhan Silivrili, Marketing Director RB West Africa and Alasdair Peach, Chief Financial Officer RB West Africa; Kwame S. Boate, Ph D, Deputy Country Director, Save the Children and Dr. David Olayemi, Director of Advocacy and Media, Save the Children.