BY CHIOMA OBINNA
In the bid to reduce infant and child mortality in Nigeria, Reckitt Benckiser has launched the ‘Dettol Journey to Save 10 Million Children’ through its Mom to Mom campaign to ultimately help save 10 million Nigerian children from premature death.
Speaking in Lagos at the Dettol Walkathon to mark 50 years of Dettol in Nigeria, the company’s Marketing Director for West Africa, Oguzhan Silivrili said the initiative is centered on helping Nigeria meet its 2015 Millennium Development Goals of reducing Child Mortality for Children under Age 5 by 6.3 percent by 2015.
Silivrili said the new Mom to Mom (MOMentum) campaign is about empowering and enabling mothers to teach other mothers about the best hygiene practices which will in turn make direct positive impacts on their families and loved ones.
“We intend to take pledge from each mother we contact in the direct contact programme to teach two other mothers, thus making a chain of empowerment all over Nigeria” he said.
“According to UNICEF, more than 70 per cent of death in children every year is attributed to six main causes: diarrhoea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery or lack of oxygen at birth. More surprising is the fact that malnutrition, lack of safe water and poor sanitation significantly contribute to half of all these children’s death”.
The World Health Organisation further notes that globally diarrhoea disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and is responsible for killing around 760, 000 children every year. ”With such a dreary statistic as this, our efforts should go beyond mere empathy to taking concrete actions to reduce this alarming death rate amongst children”, Silivrili said.
Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research, NAFDAC, Mr. Segiru Momodu, emphasized the importance of learning and imbibing good hygiene habit of hand washing, it is the easiest and the cheapest was to avoid sickness coursing germs.
Segiru further advised Nigerians especially mothers to imbibe the good habit of hand washing with Dettol soap to keep away harmful germs that might pose threat to the health of both mother and child.
On his part, 2nd National Vice President, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Barthy Okorochukwu said: “The importance of fitness and this Dettol Walkathon cannot be over emphasised, Reckitt Benckiser, through the Dettol brand has once again shown commitment to health of Nigerians by starting a campaign towards reducing infant mortality and also encouraging Nigerians to keep fit and healthy” he said. Infant Mortality is a global public health issue. Highly preventable deaths are occurring in the Third World, United States, and locally in Cleveland, Ohio.
Globally, infant mortality is attributed to uneven distribution of resources or lack of resources. In essence, like the old African Proverb states, “It takes a Village to Raise a Child,” “children will thrive only if their families thrive and if the whole society cares enough to provide for them”