• Nigeria to receive N1.2b to create healthier country
RB, one of the leading consumer health and hygiene companies has proposed partnership with the federal government to fight diarrhoea which claims annually, the lives of nearly 100,000 of children under five years. The initiative is in the tune of about N7.2 billion, out of which Nigeria will access about N1.2 billion for “creating a Healthier and Prosperous nation.”
The RB West Africa and Global team members, along with ‘Save the Children’ representatives visited the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to share the proposal and discuss avenues of partnership with government to further the social and economic goals of the country.
Rahul Murgai, the Managing Director, RB West Africa shared the his company’s global vision which is to provide consumers with innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes.
He further said that RB has been operating in the country for over 50 years, noting that Nigeria remains one of the key priority markets for continued focus and investment.
Accordingly, RB has been working to create a culture of health and hygiene and is present in country with its portfolio of trusted brands like, Dettol, Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Durex, Harpic, Mortein and Air Wick.
He further stated that RB is not looking at Nigerian opportunity over a short term period, but, see a longer term potential in the country which he added will remain the epicenter for African growth and play an important strategic role in serving and developing other key markets in West Africa.
Murgai said: “With Dettol, a trusted name among Nigerian households, especially, mothers, we have been actively partnering with Ministry of Health, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) ‘Save the Children’ and other NGOs to create scaled awareness around good health and hygiene.
“As part of our ongoing commitment, we have already reached five million mothers and 3.9 million school children over the last six years to improve maternal health and reduced infant mortality in line with the nation’s commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.
However, these interventions though in right direction, need greater participation and involvements from like-minded corporates, NGOs and government, to build a truly healthier and prosperous nation, he said.
The Water and Sanitation Programmes Research reports that Nigeria loses N455 billion annually, which is 1.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to poor sanitation and hygiene which increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, making it an urgent priority for all stakeholders and the society.
The impact is startling in human terms as the report further showed that ‘one child under the the age of five dies every minute’from preventable diseases, specifically diarrhoea.
The Managing Director said: “Accordingly, we are announcing the ground breaking ‘“Save a Child a Minute”’ programme in partnership with “Save the Children” and Lagos State government which is being piloted in Shomolu LGA where we are working to reduce prevalence and incidence of diarrhoea by 50 per cent and mortality by 80 per cent. What
“What makes the programme ground-breaking is that for the first time, a holistic approach on the World Health Organisation (WHO) seven-point plan is being implemented in Africa.”
The experiences are being shared with the federal government in anticipation of creating a national movement to fast-track the programme.
The RB delegation included- Rahul Murgai, Managing Director, RB West Africa; Andrew Fleming, Deputy Head of Political Section, British High Commissioner; Patty O’ Hayer, RB Global Head of External Communications & Affairs and Chief Olu Falomo, Chairman RB Nigeria.
Other delegates are: Oguzhan Silivrili, Marketing Director, RB West Africa; Alasdair Peach, Chief Financial Officer RB West Africa; Kwame S. Boate, Deputy Country Director, ‘Save the Children’ and Dr. David Olayemi, Director of Advocacy and Media, ‘Save the Children.’
This story was published in Newswatch Times on January 21, 2016.