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Dettol to bond with 8 lakh kids for Healthy Habits

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 29, 2010
As part of the pan-India initiative, health experts from Indian Medical Association will visit schools and organise workshops to educate the students on proper ways of hand washing, bathing and surface cleaning

Dettol, the 77-year-old brand from the stable of Reckitt Benckiser, has started a year-long campaign to promote healthy habits amongst school children in the country.

As part of Healthy Habits, Dettol, along with health experts from Indian Medical Association, will organise workshops in schools across India, to educate students on proper ways of hand washing, bathing and surface cleaning. With this initiative, Reckitt Benckiser plans to reach around 8 lakh students in 1,600 schools by next year.

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The on-ground campaign is based on the Hygiene Promotion and Illness Reduction study conducted in South Africa. As per the results, it was found that when people adopted hygienic habits of hand washing, surface disinfection and bathing with Dettol, illnesses reduced by up to 75 per cent.

According to another survey conducted by the Global Hygiene Council recently, 70 per cent Indians don't wash their hands for the recommended duration, which leads to lack of personal hygiene. This is one of the main reasons for the spread of many diseases.

Speaking about the initiative, Chander Mohan Sethi, chairman and managing director, Reckitt Benckiser, India says, "As a responsible corporate, we do understand the challenges faced by the Indian society, be it infrastructure, lack of appropriate healthcare facilities or education facilities. But the biggest challenge that one tends to ignore is the low level of awareness on health and hygiene issues. This year, with Healthy Habits, we endeavour to reach as many children as possible and create awareness amongst them."

Approximately 6 per cent of the total marketing spends of Dettol are put into on-ground initiatives. The brand has been associated with initiatives and activities aimed at spreading awareness about health and hygiene for quite some time.

In 2006, Dettol launched the Dettol Surakshit Parivar, a three-phase health awareness campaign. The first leg of the campaign was the New Mother Program, as part of which over 12 lakh new mothers across six metros were targeted. They were provided with baby care booklets in local languages -- giving them essential tips to protect the newborn from germs and infections -- along with free samples of Dettol Antiseptic Liquid.

In the second leg of the initiative, school children were educated on the importance and procedure of a complete hand wash.

The last leg of the initiative was a hospital programme, where Dettol conducted awareness programmes with nurses in hospitals, addressing different illness-causing bacteria/viruses, and methods of ensuring a germ-free environment.

Further, Dettol supports the Global Hygiene Council, which works at revisiting current hygiene practices and offers recommendations to the public on improving hygiene conditions in the home and community.