In its commitment towards spreading awareness around the world on the importance of health and hygiene, Unilever celebrated Global Handwashing Day 2015 with a special event organized at the Yatiyana Maha Vidyala School in Matara. In an attempt to reduce the mortality rate in children under the age of 5, Unilever sought to raise awareness among school children on proper hand hygiene that could help combat preventable diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia.
Global Handwashing Day is celebrated annually in over 100 countries around the world on October 15, with the objective of reiterating the importance of good hand hygiene habits. In order to mark the day, Unilever organized this event to include activities that were designed to embed a change in hand washing behavior among the children. Lifebuoy’s brand ambassador, Kumar Sangakkara participated in the event and supported Lifebuoy in the pledge to reach more children on hand washing education.
A demonstration of proper hand washing technique was conducted by a Public Health Inspector which was followed by school acts. Thereafter, Unilever made a pledge to improve hand hygiene facilities in over 200 schools in Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the event, Sharmila Bandara, Marketing Director - Personal Care, Unilever Sri Lanka said, “This year celebrates the 8th Global Handwashing Day, and to mark the occasion Lifebuoy hopes that its on-going ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign will assist in ending preventable death of children under the age of 5. Every year 1.7 million children die before reaching their 5th birthday as result of contracting diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia that could otherwise be prevented through simple and cost effective hand hygiene measures such as regularly washing your hands with soap and clean water. Over the years, Unilever has been instrumental in running social responsibility programs that encourage children to start and sustain hand washing behavior. ”
Unilever is committed to improve hygiene education among children, as research suggests that hand washing with soap at critical times could reduce the risk of diarrhea up to 45%. In doing so, Unilever hopes to ingrain essential handwashing habits at critical times and aims to create a healthier Sri Lanka.