Lifebuoy, the world’s number one hygiene soap brand, has been commended for its contributions to the development of the Ghanaian economy through hygiene promotion.
Lifebuoy co-founded Global Handwashing Day with the Global Handwashing Partnership in 2008 and in 2020 launched its award-winning campaign, “H is for Hand washing”, aiming to fundamentally change the world’s hand washing habits and accelerate hand washing behaviour change for children.
The Minster of Education, Dr Yaw Adu-Twum who said this in speech read on his behalf by the Director for Pre-Tertiary Education at the Ministry of Education, Nana Baffuor Awuah, during this year’s Global Hand Washing Day, said the company had played crucial role in the development of the country by promoting hygiene.
He said Unilever Lifebuoy had served Ghanaians with their hygiene soap and many innovations to promote handwashing with soap to save lives and lessen the number of people who fell sick from germs.
As part of the programme, Lifebuoy appointed two “H for Handwashing” Chief Education Officers (CEOs) who will spread the important message of handwashing with soap and water.
The two CEOs were announced during a celebration at the Christ the King International School in Accra after a nationwide selection process where two students, Belicia Asigri of Services Basic School and Kwame Danquah of Christ the King International School were handpicked from dozens of children under the age of 12.
Dr Adu-Twum lauded the use of children as peer educators, saying, “I have no doubt that this initiative will raise a generation of hygiene-conscious citizens who will add to the development of the nation through sensitisation in their communities and become responsible change agents. It is possible that these CEOs will one day become the change makers required to move Ghana’s development forward.”
Osato Evbuomwan, Category Manager Skin Cleansing of Unilever Ghana said, “Lifebuoy’s purpose has always been about preventing illness by promoting good hand hygiene through hand washing with soap.
“This Global Hand washing Day, we are incredibly excited to recognise the fundamental role kids can play in spreading the message that H must stand for Handwashing. Through the power of peer-to-peer learning, we hope to inspire more kids to rise and change the world’s handwashing behaviours,” said the manager.
The manager indicated that numerous studies had shown that children were more likely to change their behaviour when influenced by others, with one study finding 59 per cent of students changing their behaviour after being influenced by their peers.
The manager said for decades, schools had been Lifebuoy’s most impactful touch point, teaching children from all backgrounds about the important habit of handwashing with soap and appealed to young change makers to take on the mantle of “H for Hand washing” Chief Education Officers (CEOs) to inspire and cultivate a new generation of hand-hygiene ambassadors.
Unilever Lifebuoy said its handwashing programme had reached over 6 million schoolchildren across Ghana with educational material to improve handwashing behaviours, and the new CEOs would be accelerating the impact through peer-to-peer learning and calling on schools to integrate hygiene into national curriculums.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE