PRESS RELEASE: Unilever and USAID Call for a World-Wide Hygiene Intervention for Newborns
Friday, September 26, 2014
To coincide with the 69th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Unilever’s health soap brand Lifebuoy hosted a roundtable discussion that united the private and public sector with one clear goal: to reach all mothers worldwide with life-saving hygiene messages that help their babies survive the first month of life. 40% of under-5 deaths occur in the newborn period and handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, which are the main causes of child mortality.
The panel of experts included:
- Paul Polman – Unilever CEO
- Raj Shah – United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator
- Kajol – Handwashing ambassador and advocate of Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign
- Kirsten Gagnaire – Executive Director of Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA)
Central to the discussion was the need for education among new mothers and skilled birth attendants to reduce the risk of infections by improving hygiene habits.