Unilever's Contribution Towards MDG 4

Topics: Millennium Development Goals, Child mortality, Sustainable development Pages: 3 (744 words) Published: September 25, 2013
Unilever’s Handwashing Programme

Out of the 1.7 million child deaths occurring in India annually (almost 5,000 daily), diarrhoea alone kills 13 percent of children under the age of five. However, clinical research shows that handwashing with soap at key occasions such as after using the toilet and before eating can cut the risk of diarrhoea by up to 45%.

Handwashing Behaviour change – In November 2010, Unilever set out the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, committing to a ten year journey towards sustainable growth. One of its key instruments towards this end is their model of behaviour change. It is based on the principle that improved habits lie at the heart of making sustainable improvements to hygiene. Unilever targets to reach large, diverse populations in India as well as across the world and especially children below the age of five years.

Unilever’s Five Levers for Change – The following set of five principles form the base of the handwashing campaign: 1. Make it Understood – Using ultra-violet light and glo-germ powder it is demonstrated that handwashing with soap provides greater protection against germs than washing with water alone. 2. Make it Easy – In order to ensure that the child’s handwashing habits will stick, mothers are looped into the programme, to track their child’s hand washing compliance. 3. Make it Desirable – Children in schools are motivated to pledge to handwashing, by peer pressure, desire for teacher’s approval as well as endorsement of the habit by well-known celebrities and comic characters. 4. Make it Rewarding – Positive Reinforcement runs throughout the school programme, a strong rewards system makes mothers and children feel good for taking positive steps in changing their habits. 5. Make it a Habit – Classroom materials, comic books, posters, quizzes and songs – all work over 21 days to remind students about the message of handwashing at key occasions.

Gondappa Campaign for Thesgora –Thesgora, a village in...

References: (to be included in the end with the other references…)
The Lancet (2010): The Millennium Development Goals: a cross-sectoral analysis and principles for goal setting after 2015
Indian Journal of Community Medicine (2011): India 's Progress Toward Achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180952/
Online articles:
Unilever and Lifebuoy Transforming Handwashing Habits in India (2013)
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