In 2012 Lifebuoy launched the Help a Child Reach 5 campaign, to raise awareness of the importance of good handwashing habits, with the aim of reducing child deaths due to preventable infections.
The Lifebuoy Help a Child Reach 5 on-ground handwashing behaviour change programme started in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh that has one of the highest rates of child diarrhoea in India. The impact of this programme was huge, with mothers reporting reduction in incidence of diarrhoea from 36% to 5%, and 26% more children washing their hands before meals.
This year, Lifebuoy is taking its message to new mothers, building awareness and improving hand hygiene habits during the crucial first 28 days after delivery (the neonatal period), when mothers and their babies need it the most.
Every year, more than 6 million children die before they reach the age of five, many due to preventable infections. Over 40% of these deaths occur in the neonatal period, when children are most vulnerable. Hygiene, particularly handwashing with soap, is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent many of these deaths. Lifebuoy’s programmes aim to increase awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap, as well as changing behaviours to make it a habit everywhere.
The newest Help a Child Reach 5 film ‘Chamki’ is a compelling story about the importance of hygiene in the neonatal period. Shot by the 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.
You too could help save a baby’s life. Join our mission to teach this lifesaving habit to mothers. Log on to www.YouTube.com/HelpaChildreach5 to watch the film & Share it with an expecting mother. Remember, the first 28 days can Help a Child Reach 5.
Newborns: Reducing mortality, WHO, 2012