Unilever Ghana Limited has launched a social mission campaign dubbed 'help a child reach 5' in Accra.
The campaign is aimed at reducing preventable deaths in children under five through proper handwashing behaviours.
It has been necessitated by the reported high number of children under five who lose their lives annually due to infectious diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera, a situation medical practitioners believe can be prevented through the institution of a culture of regular handwashing with soap.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign at the College of Surgeons & Physicians on Friday in Accra, Managing Director of Unilever Ghana, Yeo Ziobeiton, lamented that mothers nationwide continue to lose their children under the age of five to diseases such as cholera, pneumonia and diarrhoea.
This is usually caused by a little germ, innocently picked up and consumed because a child or parent does not wash their hands with soap and water,” he disclosed.
According to him, the 'help a child reach 5' campaign which is to be undertaken in partnership with the Rebecca Akufo-Addo's Foundation, aims to reduce preventable deaths from diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and respiratory infections by promoting among the general public, especially mothers and children, life-saving handwashing habits before breakfast, lunch, dinner, after visiting the toilet and during daily bath.
The campaign, he said, is targeting about one million children in basic schools nationwide and roughly 500,000 mothers.
“We believe that through this campaign, we will raise awareness about the critical contribution of handwashing with soap under running water to prevent children from picking up infection causing germs and mobilise Ghanaians to adopt this habit,” he said.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah, who officially launched the campaign, stated that her outfit, together with the Ghana Health Service, had set for themselves a target of reducing neonatal mortality by five percent per annum and that the Lifebuoy's social mission initiative was in the right direction to help the ministry meet this goal.
“In addition, we will be contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Goal 3 – ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” the deputy minister added.
The Director of Personal Care Unilever Ghana and Nigeria, Nana Yaa Kissi, was of the opinion that children have big ambitions and as such must be supported by society along their growth trajectory to ensure that they achieve their dreams.
“We will raise awareness about the critical contribution of handwashing with soap under running water to prevent children from infection-causing germs and mobilise Ghanaians to adopt this habit,” she stated.
The launching ceremony was highly attended by senior government officials from the Ministries of Education, Health and Water & Sanitation.