Curbing Hygiene-Related Illnesses


With almost half a million Nigerians dying from hygiene-related diseases every year, Martins Ifijeh writes on the role of Reckitt Benckister in tackling the health issue.

 It is no longer news that some of the big health issues in the country are caused by hygiene related illnesses, with available statistics suggesting that over 500,000 persons die from either diarrhea, cholera or related diseases annually. What seems to be the news is that despite the burden occasioned by the scourge, little attention is being given by the citizens and stakeholders in addressing the root cause.

This is even as experts have continually stressed that if Nigerians imbibe the culture of following simple hygiene techniques, use proper germ killers in their daily activities, wash hands regularly and as at when due, clean the environment properly, it will lead greatly to a sharp drop in health burdens experienced in the country.

For instance, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 80 per cent of infections are transmitted into the body through the hand; a report that suggests why diseases and infections are more common in underdeveloped and developing countries, including Nigeria, than in developed countries where the culture of proper hygiene is embraced and practised.

Also, medical experts have stated that among the various infections and diseases which are transmitted into the body through lack of proper use of disinfectants and germ killers, diarrhea and pneumonia are the most prevalent. No wonder available information reveals that 96,000 deaths occur in Nigeria due to diarrhea, and several deaths occur from pneumonia yearly. But WHO has said these deaths were preventable through simple habits of using proper hygiene methods and through the use of proper germ killers, which as a matter of fact becomes part of our lifestyle.

In bridging this gap, Reckitt Benckister, makers of dettol is championing a revolution in this regards with the introduction of its new product, Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner. This new revolutionary product is, according to them, represents a confirmation of RB’s vision of healthier homes and happier lives through innovative home and personal care solutions.

Growing Hygiene needs has become a top priority for every Nigerian after the 2014 Ebola and 2015 Lassa epidemics. In addition, the public consciousness, through this campaigns, has been designed to be awakened in other to prevent the various hygiene related illnesses in the country.

One of the startling facts is that 80 per cent of these illness-causing germs are acquired at home from different surfaces like floors, kitchen tops and washbasins. However while cleaning the surfaces, Nigerians have been using suboptimal solutions like detergents which does not kill germs or bleach which does not properly remove stains and compromising on all-day freshness.

According to the Marketing Director of RB West Africa, Oguzhan Silivrili, the new Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner is designed to bridge this gap in the country, adding that it is the first of its kind in the surface-cleaning category, providing 10 times better cleaning and germ killer while providing all day freshness. “Most importantly, using Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner is more affordable and cheaper compared to buying all of the other cleaning agents separately. Dettol MSC can be used on all hard surfaces including tiles, marble, and granite, wood or cement floors to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment within the home,” he added.

The new product, which was unveiled at the premises of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH recently with a public awareness campaign tagged ‘Dettol Clean Naija’ has been designed to act as a sensitisation means to draw the attention of Nigerians to the need of promoting best hygiene practices across different platforms.

“This campaign does not only introduce the new product but also aimed to make a difference on the grass root level via actively cleaning places like the Emergency and Accident Unit at LUTH where a germ free environment is of utmost priority in order to break the chain of contagious diseases,” he stressed.

According to him “this campaign brings like-minded institutions like LUTH and other health conscious institutions across Nigeria to promote jointly best hygiene practices, including personal and surface hygiene. The Clean Naija initiative team will travel from city to city and Nigerians will decide which places to clean through voting on the social media platforms.”

Silivrili, stated: “In 2014 it was Ebola and last year it was Lassa fever, next year it could be something else. We don’t want it to be a silent killer like diarrhoea that kills children under
the age of five, that is why we are introducing this product, which can be used on indoor places and the best thing about this product is that it offer 10 times germ kill, lasting freshness, stain removal and better cleaning solution than detergents,” adding that, “most of the illness-causing germs are acquired at home from different surfaces like floors, kitchen tops and washbasins and consumers are looking for an all in one solution for cleaning that is valuable, affordable and is trusted to keep their home safe from germs.”

He added ‘if you believe that a certain indoor location like a hospital , school , church or a mosque needs to be cleaned with Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner, please join the Dettol Clean Naija campaign and vote . We need to keep the indoor surfaces clean and germ free in order to protect our loved ones from falling ill due to preventable diseases .The new Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner is 10 times better cleaning solution versus detergents and bleach and ensures a thoroughly clean and germ free environment.”

Commending RB’s innovativeness for the new product at the end of the launching and cleaning exercise, the chairman Medical advisory committee LUTH, Professor Olufemi Fasanmade who represented the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, said “the product is a timely intervention into the surface cleaning category, because of the sharp rise in preventable illnesses such as the recent Lassa fever fear that engulfed the nation, especially amongst the children due to their playful tendencies.”

Fasanmade regretted that the level of hygiene had dropped drastically after the Ebola outbreak in the country. “I believe this Clean Naija programme will bring resurgence to the important place of hand washing in our nation

Professor Fasanmade therefore encouraged Nigerians, that prevention was always better than cure, as it is important to keep hands and surroundings always germ free.

Meanwhile, just a month shy of the launch of the initiative, Reckitt Benckister has debuted a health enlightenment documentary on YouTube, which has been designed to awaken the imagination of consumers on germs harboured on surfaces and how the Dettol Clean Naija team was ready to wipe out all surface germs across the nation.

In a series of colourful shots, the wholesome documentary portray some of health’s infectious moments set against different germs provoked surfaces and how the new Dettol multi surface cleaner is the best and only surface cleaner to clean, get rid of the germs and keep the surfaces refreshed.

Some of the scenes include the homes, schools, and hospitals, provoking the thoughts that 80 per cent of hygiene related illnesses are caused indoors as indoors public spaces are the chains of infections and the solution is to kill the germs on the surfaces all around with the new Dettol multi surface cleaner.

The documentary also shows how the Dettol Clean Naija team is to go around the city of Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja to clean indoor surfaces with the new Dettol multi surface cleaner which has stressed by the company that it was a better ten times cleaning, and germ-kill components.