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COVID-19: Dettol, JIK partner UNAIDS to support people living with HIV in Africa

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, UNAIDS and Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB) are joining forces to help protect people living with HIV across Africa. Working through the UNAIDS network, the partnership hopes to reach approximately 220,000 individuals across 22 countries in Africa, including Nigeria, with a hygiene pack that contains three-month supply of Dettol bar soap and JIK bleach. The market value of these products is over N800 million.

The initiative to distribute the hygiene packs is part of its “Fight for Access Fund”, which aims to improve access to health, hygiene and nutrition for all.

“Reckitt Benckiser’s purpose is to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world,” said Dayanand Sriram, general manager, health, for Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria.

“We want and need to play our part in stemming the effects of the pandemic and we can do this by providing access to our high-quality hygiene products – 180,000 bars of Dettol soap. By partnering with UNAIDS, we can reach specific groups of people who need them the most,” Sriram said.

For years, RB, through its brand “Dettol”, has supported the government’s effort in promoting a healthy lifestyle through its School Hygiene Programme that educates over 300,000 school children annually and the New Mums’ Programme that supports over 200,000 pregnant women annually to adopt healthy habits.

“Brands like JIK have a critical role to play in promoting hygiene in the fight against health pandemics,” said Asif Hashimi, country manager, hygiene, for Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria. “JIK has strong heritage and roots in Africa of providing laundry and surface disinfection for years. In these pressing times, by partnering with UNAIDS we will donate 60,000 units of JIK bleach bottles to ensure world class disinfection is accessible to the most vulnerable in society.”

Erasmus Morah, UNAIDS country director for Nigeria, on behalf of UNAIDS commended Reckitt Benckiser (RB) for its donation and timely delivery of hygiene kits to help improve the personal hygiene of members of Nigeria’s networks of people living with HIV at this turbulent time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate this demonstration of solidarity from RB, and we encourage other private sector entities and philanthropists to consider doing the same with all vulnerable populations,” Morah said.

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