Handwashing is a critical component of staying healthy and good hygiene. Started in 2008, Global Handwashing Day is a day to focus on handwashing using soap to provide an easy, effective and affordable way to prevent disease.
In September 2021, our brand Safeguard and Walgreens collaborated with Americares to bring 10 million handwashes to communities in need. This new program, Hope is in Your Hands, will provide Americares with products that will be distributed to clinics and hospitals worldwide including safety net health centers serving low-income, uninsured and under-insured families in the United States.
Safeguard in Greater China will conduct its 14th Global Handwashing Day event on the Great Wall as part of its #SpreadHealthAcrossChina education and charity program. This program will reach two-thirds of cities in China providing handwashing facilities and education courses.
In the Philippines, Safeguard is partnering with the Department of Health, the Department of Education, UNICEF and the Manila Water Foundation to host the “Science of Handwashing” talking about how Safeguard enables Filipinos to make every wash a #SafeWash. The brand is working with its partners to build handwashing facilities in more than 280 public schools in Manila to ensure 100 percent of schools have access to handwashing once schools reopen.
Our Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program plays an important role in helping enable good handwashing practices as the water used for handwashing needs to be clean to be effective. Since the not-for-profit program started in 2004, we have worked closely with more than 150 global partners to provide 19 billion liters of clean water in more than 90 countries around the world. We are well on our way to achieving our goal to reach 25 billion liters provided by 2025. We’re proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary with our charity partner HOPE who distributes much-needed P&G Purifier of Water packets in Pakistan to people like Allah B. and his family. Allah B. (75) lives with his wife Rahmia (70), their son Allah Rakha (45), daughter-in-law Sakina (30) and their five children Rasheed (10), Salma (9), Razia (5), Ameeran (2) and Gulzar (11 months).
For nearly 18 months, the HOPE team has been distributing P&G packets in Allah B’s community. Volunteers from HOPE showed the family how to clean dirty and muddy water and provided buckets and the packets. Living in a remote village in Jam Sardar region, the community had to get their water from a nearby river. During rainy season, the water was quite dirty, and many people fell ill. Since the HOPE team has been regularly coming to the village and providing packets, education and training, people are not getting sick as often.
Having clean water has made a tremendous difference to Allah B’s family. Before they started using the packets, 2-year-old Ameeran became ill and had to be taken to the hospital. It took nearly two hours by bus and by the time she arrived, she was severely dehydrated and needed to be given IV fluids and injections. She remained in the hospital for three days which was expensive for the family. “I had to take a loan to pay for the hospital. We had to go to the doctor very often and medicines were very expensive. As I am a farmer, my earnings are not that much and all my income would go to medical expenses,” her father commented.
Because of the repeated infections, the children were not eating well and losing weight but since the family began using the packets, they have become ill less often. This has reduced their visits to the doctor and their medical expenses. And now in their community of about 1,500 people, nearly 80 percent of all households are using the packets to clean their water and are staying healthy. And encouragingly, infant deaths due to diarrhea has become a rare occurrence.
Providing more than one billion liters of clean water each year is another example of P&G’s acts of good as we Lead with Love supporting our communities, fostering equality and inclusion, and protecting the planet we call home.
To learn more about Safeguard in the U.S. click here, in Greater China, click here and in the Philippines, click here. To learn more about the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, visit www.csdw.org.