Lifebouy shampoo launches Senehebara Yeheliya campaign
Unilever Sri Lanka’s leading personal care brand Lifebuoy kick started the year with the launch of the pilot project of its “Lifesaver” neonatal programme in Hatton. In keeping with its commitment of changing the hand washing behavior of one billion people globally, Unilever Sri Lanka partnered with the Ministry of Health to inaugurate the “Lifesaver” project on 28th February 2014.
The program was conducted by Consultant Community Physician (Central Province) Dr. K. W. G. Gamini Jayakody, and primarily addressed the risk of infant mortality and how this can be prevented by the simple of act of maternal and birth-attendant handwashing.
With 40% of newborn deaths occurring within the first 28 days of giving birth, the “Lifesaver” project focuses mainly on creating awareness of handwashing with soap, instilling a strong sense of behavioural change among new mothers and the importance of protection against germs which is the fundamental proposition of Lifebuoy.
Community level interventions
The “Lifesaver” program will be directly implemented at a community level through the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) Offices of Ambagamuwa and Kotagala Divisions of Hatton. 69 Midwives stationed at Divisional Clinics as well as midwives engaged in home visits are the primary channel of carrying the message of importance of hand washing with soap to new mothers.
The mothers are introduced to a 21 day self-monitoring program where they are encouraged to wash hands with soap on five defined instances before any contact is made with the newborn child. Midwives will monitor the behavioural change and reiterate the message of hygiene as they make weekly visits to each household. A scheme is designed to identify and reward mothers who have actively participated within the stipulated period of time.
“Studies indicate a 41% reduction in mortality rate among newborns whose mothers and birth attendants practice handwashing with soap. Therefore Lifebuoy is eager to see the execution of this pilot project making it a truly successful endeavor that maybe implemented at a national level in due course.
258 M. Vincent Perera Mw
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