• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo


Six Nigerian health innovators get N37.8m from Reckitt

Delta State Government says it subsidized healthcare for its citizens and residents and has so far paid over N7 billion for the treatment of the

Reckitt, a British multinational hygiene, health, and nutrition company, has awarded N37.8 million to six Nigerian social entrepreneurs.

These entrepreneurs were chosen through a competitive process from over 200 applicants for Reckitt’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Accelerator program.

The five-month WASH Accelerator programme empowers grassroots innovators to improve access to WASH in Nigeria.

The six winning enterprises are Onyesi Care Foundation, Alora Reusable Pads, ToiletPride, SoSo Care, Kiddies and Brands.

Each enterprise received N6.3 million to expand its WASH innovations during an event marking Reckitt’s 60th year in Nigeria.

With 73.5 percent of Nigeria’s population lacking access to improved drinking water sources and sanitation facilities, more than 70,000 children under five die yearly from exposure to water-borne diseases including diarrhea, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

This problem is worse in rural areas, where the gap for improved services widens to 64.1 percent.

While the government is ultimately charged with providing equitable access to WASH services, private entities are collaborating to address this challenge.

Reckitt, for instance, is one such company contributing through its social impact programme.

One of the enterprises Reckitt supports is SoSo Care, which runs a unique medical insurance system.

This system uses recyclable plastics as premiums, allowing beneficiaries to pay for malaria treatments with proceeds generated from collected plastic waste.

This innovative approach reduces out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

Kris Licht, Reckitt’s international CEO, acknowledged that Nigeria’s economy has macroeconomic and fiscal challenges to contend with.

However, Licht reiterated the company’s resilience and commitment to working through the difficulties, noting that many lives, opportunities, and potentials can be saved with the problems addressed.

Licht said the company is as committed to scaling its social impact programme as its goal to expand its business with increased investments in production capacity.

“While we want to grow our business, we certainly also want to grow our impact and solve these big problems simply because it is the right thing to do. These are basic things: access to clean water, hygiene products, knowledge of hygiene, and access to healthcare,” Licht said.