Reckitt Nigeria, makers of global hygiene brands, Dettol and Harpic recently renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources on the Clean Naija initiative to achieve a cleaner and healthier Nigeria.
The signing ceremony of the Clean Naija Initiative was attended by the Honorable Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu alongside other senior officials from the ministry as well as the management team of Reckitt Nigeria and members of the press.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Reckitt Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director, Akbar Ali Shah said, “Reports place Nigeria among the top countries bearing a significant portion of the global disease burden and death rates. high under-5 mortality rates, and recent reports have estimated that 46 million Nigerians continue to defecate in the open. Many of these illnesses such as diarrhea can be prevented by adopting good handwashing habits and widespread hygiene education. We are delighted to renew the partnership with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources on the Clean Naija initiative, and it is a confirmation of the success of the initiative over the past three years.
Speaking on the successes of the initiative, Shah mentioned that through its Dettol brand, “Reckitt Nigeria has launched hygiene education programs committed to addressing some of these issues. school and new mom hygiene, through which the brand has educated millions of children and mothers on good hand hygiene habits. It has continued; we have also evolved our school hygiene program with the introduction a structured hygiene program called ‘The Hygiene Quest.’ The program aims to educate children aged 6-8 years about hygiene and behavior change. It includes a range of modules that use comics, mini-games, physical worksheets and activities to deliver learning.The program was piloted in public schools in all 20 LGAs in Lagos State, and our final impact assessment showed an increase 34% of knowledge proper handwashing and a 7% reduction in diarrhea among participants after the intervention. We intend to expand this program to other states when the school year resumes in September 2022.”
In his address, the Honorable Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu said, “The WASHNORM 2022 survey report indicated that we still have a long way to go to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for water and sanitation, with basic water access. , sanitation and hygiene services estimated at 67%, 46% and 17% respectively in 2021”. We will continue to create an enabling environment for private sector actors to contribute and invest in the water, sanitation and hygiene value chain, which can make a significant contribution to the country’s economic indices. We welcome Reckitt and other private sector organizations as a true partner on this journey.
In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Ms. Didi Walson-Jack, explained that the signing of the MoU is a demonstration of the ministry’s continued commitment to improving sanitation in Nigeria. “We very much hope that this partnership will continue to contribute significantly to improving sanitation and hygiene services, behaviors and practices in Nigeria, with the attendant benefits to health, productivity, education and the economy, among others.” She added.
The Clean Naija Initiative was established by Reckitt Nigeria in 2019 as an integrated multi-level campaign to raise awareness, educate and drive behavior change to achieve a cleaner and healthier Nigeria. Its goals are to reduce diarrhea-related child mortality in Nigeria in line with the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, reduce and eliminate the threat of open defecation, and reduce malaria-related deaths. in Nigeria.