Lifebuoy champions public-private partnerships to improve newborn survival

Lifebuoy called on African leaders gathered at last month’s AfricaSan sanitation and hygiene conference to recognise the role of public–private partnerships in addressing newborn and child health.

Getting the message across at the highest levels

The Fourth Regional Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa (AfricaSan 4) focused on the theme: Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa. With the launch of the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) in September, Lifebuoy is raising awareness of the need to track handwashing facilities and behaviours in the water and sanitation goal (SDG 6).

How individual countries choose to implement the SDGs and build the targets and indicators into their own national plans will determine their success, and Lifebuoy is working to ensure its message – handwashing with soap saves lives – is heard at the highest levels in Africa.

Lifebuoy and USAID renew partnership around hygiene for newborns

The move comes as Lifebuoy announces the renewal of its successful four-year partnership with USAID and the expansion of newborn hygiene programmes across Kenya.

Lifebuoy aims to reach 100 million people across Africa by 2020 as part of its behaviour change programme which has engaged 257 million people in 24 countries since 2010. In its mission to reach 1 billion people with its lifesaving message of handwashing with soap, Lifebuoy joined forces with USAID and its Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) to create a dedicated newborn programme to make handwashing with soap commonplace among mothers.

The programme will combine Lifebuoy’s marketing and consumer expertise and proven handwashing behaviour change methodology with MCSP’s ability to deploy programmes on a large scale, allowing the partnership to reach millions of new mothers.

Half of the world’s under-five deaths occur in Africa, with one child in 11 dying before their fifth birthday. Worldwide, 40% of under-five deaths occur in the newborn period. Handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia, the main causes of child mortality.

Youssou N’Dour supports Help A Child Reach 5 campaign

Senegalese politician and multiple award-winning singer Youssou N’Dour has pledged his support to Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign to highlight the importance of hygiene in reducing child mortality, particularly in Africa. Youssou says: “The simple act of handwashing with soap can save children’s lives and should play a key part in the post-2015 development agenda. I am calling on policymakers and governments in Africa to help make this happen by expanding handwashing education programmes.”

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