RB and Save The Children partner to stop children dying of diarrhoea
Consumer goods giant RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) is partnering with international children's charity, Save The Children, in an effort to help eradicate child deaths from diarrhoea in India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Along with the development of two innovative new hygiene and sanitation products aimed at preventing, controlling and treating the condition, RB will fund a Stop Diarrhoea programme which will fully implement the World Health Organisation and UNICEF 7-point plan to ensure comprehensive diarrhoea control.
The two new products are a multipurpose soap bar that can be used by families for cleaning and washing hands (including children from the age of one) and the second is a ‘game-changing’ toilet powder to make the use of pit latrines more hygienic. The powder keeps flies away, which reduces both faecal matter and the transmission of germs. The benefits of the toilet powder should encourage communities to make better use of the more hygienic pit latrines, as opposed to defecating in public areas.
For the first time, RB will not be making a profit from these products and the revenue will be reinvested into the Stop Diarrhoea programme and fighting diarrhoea. They will also be produced locally, encouraging entrepreneurship, in addition to reducing the overall carbon footprint and transport costs associated with their manufacture.
Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive of RB, said: “We believe that businesses like ours have a responsibility of delivering value to the society beyond the returns to the shareholders. We have used our core R&D business to develop products to help stop children dying from diarrhoea, this is the first time RB has developed and tested products specifically for consumers at the bottom of the pyramid”.
The products will be piloted in Pakistan and Nigeria with plans to roll them out into India by the end of the year.
The products have been developed through a model of ‘open innovation’ bringing together some of the world’s leading chemical scientists, enzyme specialists, fragrance experts and academics from around world, including BASF, Novozymes, Tagasako and University of Nairobi. This open and collaborative approach to innovation represents another first for RB in the development of the two new products.
Picture credit: CJ Clarke/Save The Children