Dettol and JIK partner with UNAIDS to assist people living with HIV across AfricaIn the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, UNAIDS and Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB) arejoining forces to help protect people living with HIV across Africa. Working through theUNAIDS network, the partnership hopes to reach approximately 220,000 individuals across22 countries in Africa with a Hygiene packs that contains three-month supply of Dettol barsoap and JIK bleach. The market value of these products is around R 42 million.
The initiative to distribute the hygiene packs is part of its “Fight for Access Fund”, whichaims to improve access to health, hygiene and nutrition for all. For more information on RB’s‘Fight for Access Fund’ visit https://www.rb.com/media/news/2020/march/rb-launches-fight-for-access-fund/
“Reckitt Benckiser’s purpose is to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of acleaner, healthier world,” says Russell Taylor, Regional Director Africa, Health, for ReckittBenckiser. “We want and need to play our part in stemming the effects of the pandemic andwe can do this by providing access to our high–quality hygiene products – 2 million bars ofDettol soap & 672k bottles of JIK bleach. By partnering with UNAIDS, we can reach specificgroups of people who need them the most. We have a long–standing commitment to theGlobal Fund, UNAIDS and RED to combat HIV and AIDS and this latest commitment is inaddition to our current Durex partnership that will help keep 40k girls in South Africa tocontinue their education.”
“UNAIDS will be working closely with communities and networks of people living with HIV ata country level in the coming weeks to facilitate distribution of the hygiene packs from RB.As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in this region, it is important thatcommunities lead and that we put people at the centre,” said Aeneas Chuma, Director ofthe UNAIDS RST ESA.
In South Africa, an estimated 7.7m people are living with HIVi. Dr Susan Louw, a pathologistat the National Health Laboratory Service(NHLS)described the Reckitt Benckiser/UNAIDSpartnership as “an amazing and very worthwhile initiative as many people living with HIV,which results in immune suppression, are now also ageing and/or have other healthconditions, including Tuberculosis and chronic heart or lung disease, that are known to makepeople susceptible to more severe COVID-19” she says. “So, if we can improve hygiene andhygiene routines in a community with an initiative like this, it can definitely improve theoutcome of communicable diseases like COVID-19 in vulnerable communities.”
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