It’s been three years since the SDGs were adopted and we’ve seen some great progress. But it’s not enough. Pneumonia and diarrhoea continue to be two of the leading killers of children worldwide. Together, they are responsible for almost one quarter of all deaths in children under 5 years old. In 2016 in India alone, diarrhoea and pneumonia killed more than 260,000 children under five.
Proper hygiene and access to rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines are two of the most critical and cost-effective interventions that can help save children’s lives and give them the chance to reach their full potential.
Washing hands with soap on key occasions – for example, after going to the toilet, or before eating – can reduce the risk of diarrheal disease by up to 47% and pneumonia by 23%.
With the Lifebuoy and Gavi partnership, we are bringing together handwashing with soap and immunisation in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The partnership unites our different areas of expertise. Lifebuoy’s understanding of behaviour change with Gavi’s technical expertise on vaccines and deployment capabilities. Together we share a deep drive to improve global health and to unlock third party funding to maximise our scale and impact.
The partnership is in its early stages, but it is well-positioned to contribute to two signature public health initiatives of the Indian Government. Swachh Bharat, is focused on creating a ‘Clean India’, and includes hand hygiene as a key component. The second is Mission Indradhanush – immunising all pregnant women and children under the age of two against seven vaccine-preventable diseases.
The partnership will not only impact SDG 3 (Good Health & Well-being) and SDG 6 (Clean Water & Sanitation), but will also have a positive impact on other SDGs.