World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. It says that climate crisis is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. It further estimates that every year, approximately, 8,29,000 people die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by polluted water and poor sanitation.
To underline the urgency of creating sustainable well-being societies committed to achieving equitable health now and for future generations without breaching ecological limits, WHO has chosen the theme ‘Our Planet, Our Health’ for the World Health Day, which is marked every year on April 7. The aim is to draw global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.
Keeping in line with the vision of ‘Our Planet, Our Health’, NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign has also embraced the theme of One Health, One Planet, One Future and aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another. Reckitt’s commitment is towards ‘Leaving No One Behind’, as only then overall well-being can be ensured, and its benefits can accrue to all to achieve the overall goal of ‘Health For All’.
The campaign through its various initiatives has stressed on the point that for one person to be healthy, everybody needs to be healthy and has highlighted why India needs to start taking care of everyone’s health – especially vulnerable and marginalised communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities.
Along with the health of people, the campaign highlights the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. It stresses that the imbalance in the eco-system has led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change, which has now been described as a “code red for humanity.”
The campaign believes that unless the actual living planet is healthy, people won’t be healthy.
Impact Of Dettol’s Banega Swasth India Campaign
Reckitt’s various projects have impacted people across the country with programmes that improve hygiene behaviour, child nutrition, maternal health and sexual education.
BSI’s Dettol School Hygiene Programme that provides students with access to hygiene education with interactive communication techniques as well as improved hygiene and handwashing facilities, has seen exceptional success. Over the years, it has expanded to cover 75 per cent of primary schools in India, reaching 20 million children from the most in need communities, and reducing absenteeism by 39 per cent.
According to Reckitt’s Social Impact Investment Report 2021, the project has reduced diarrhoea rates among children by 14.6 per cent.
Through The Birds and the Bees programme, Reckitt – Durex has targeted at adolescents aged 10-19, to improve sexual education for almost 75,000 adolescents in 2021.
Via ‘Reach Each Child’ programme, which is a nutrition initiative that prioritises to provide adequate nutrition for children within the first 1,000 days of life, the programme has reached 72,700 children under five and has provided cash assistance to 161 families to pay for treatment of malnourishment.
Moreover, Reckitt has supported 8,000 pregnant women through multiple interventions and helped 91 per cent of new mothers in India initiate breastfeeding.
Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, Reckitt – South Asia, says,
We seek to empower local communities to drive the change. Our approach is not to impose solutions; it’s to understand problems and alleviate them from the ground up. When people – especially women and girls – have access to good health, hygiene and sanitation services, the whole community benefits in the long run. That’s how we invest for life. Our social impact strategy focuses on the area of unmet needs where we can create the most impact as a business. These focus areas align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships Reckitt says that through its various projects the campaign will continue to achieve more results in the future in bid to keep the momentum of One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind’ going. He says,
Despite progress, there is more to do, and we have an ambitious strategy to triple our impact by 2026. Our trailblazing Banega Swasth India programme aims to cover 75 per cent of the aspirational districts in India by 2026, reaching 140 million people and impacting 47 million people. Through our Durex ‘Birds and Bees’ programme, we will improve the sexual health of 14 million adolescents and youth.
About The Authors: Ravi Bhatnagar is the Director, External Affairs & Partnerships from Reckitt and Dr Jyotsna Sistla is Manager – Banega Swasth India and Corporate Communications & External Affairs, Reckitt