Today saw the launch of Dettol’s Mzansi Protect – an immediately actionable initiative by Dettol that aims to reduce the burden of diarrhoea in South Africa by 50% by 2027.

While we may have internalised the message to wash hands during Covid-19, there is a compelling case for continued education on good hand hygiene as a simple and effective action to prevent illness and diseases.

With the Stats SA General Household Survey 2020 showing that 42% of South Africans don’t wash their hands with soap and water, the need to drive handwashing education becomes even more imperative.

To realise this vision to reduce the burden of diarrhoea, Dettol also announced today two incredible partnerships – one with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the other with The Springboks (SA Rugby) – who are the current world champions.

The relationship with the Nelson Mandela Foundation will help drive hygiene and hand-washing education, as well as provide needed hygiene infrastructure to early childhood development centres across the country – ensuring no child is left behind.

According to Jurie Roux, chief executive officer of SA Rugby: “It’s more important than ever to ensure fundamental hygiene measures are in place, and this partnership with Dettol will give us added reassurance that we remain vigilant in this area.”

In carrying the message forward, there is perhaps no one more important than mothers. Since 2017 Dettol’s new mums programme has reached 2.5 million mums, each benefitting four people within their home, imparting the importance of hand hygiene – a solid reinforcement for the Dettol Mzansi protect initiative.

In addition to the new mums programme, Dettol Mzansi Protect aims to educate one million learners in school and early childhood development centres across the country with the launch of the new Dettol hygiene quest school programme – with the educational message of #eachoneteachone, ensuring that the hygiene habit is instilled at a young age.

Taking great pride in such campaigns, Reckitt marketing director, Umar Khan says: “We touch the head and the heart with our education and awareness campaigns, which for me is vital.”

The campaign media partner– the SABC – has also put its weight behind the fight by communicating critical messages across its channels.

Gugu Ntuli, the SABC’s group executive for corporate affairs, says: “As an institution that cares about the community it serves, the SABC is pleased to partner with a reputable brand like Dettol SA on such an important campaign – an initiative that addresses the challenges of our most vulnerable communities in our country.”

As Dettol South Africa marketing manager, Bayode Akanbi explains: “Dettol Mzansi Protect programme is a bold initiative aimed at making a difference among the people and communities we serve; especially in vulnerable communities, where the much-needed support through education and assistance will make a big difference in people’s health.”

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