Reckitt launches Arab Hygiene Council
Dubai, May 30, 2012
Reckitt Benckiser Arabia has announced the launch of the ‘Arab Hygiene Council’ at an exclusive press briefing held in Dubai, in line with its long-term commitment to a healthier Middle East,
The members of the Arab Hygiene Council will involve healthcare officials from across the region, a statement from Reckitt said.
An extension of the Global Hygiene Council, the main objective of the Arab Hygiene Council is to develop hygiene standards across the Middle East by bringing together key opinion leaders and decision makers on a common platform, to implement various hygiene and health awareness programmes aimed at increasing awareness about risks of poor hygiene habits.
Frank M Koch, marketing director, Middle East, Reckitt Benckiser, said: “Launch of the Arab Hygiene Council is a milestone towards achieving our objective of building healthier communities across Middle East.”
“We look forward to working in conjunction with healthcare and government officials from the region to recommend and implement specific hygiene guidelines for hospitals, clinics, daycare, and schools, thereby, promoting good hygiene habits for improved health among the population.”
“Dettol, one of the power brands of Reckitt Benckiser, will play a significant role in promoting the Council’s hygiene guidelines by sponsoring various education programmes across the region,” added Koch.
Professor John Oxford, chairman of the Hygiene Council and professor of Virology at Queen Mary College, University of London, said: “Poor hygiene has been a contributory factor in the global spread of pathogens such as norovirus, Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, Legionella and Campylobacter.”
“Hygiene is therefore important as a first line defense against the spread of pathogens in people’s everyday environments. We must make the time to protect ourselves and our families by practicing simple hygiene measures such as washing hands with soap after going to the toilet and before preparing food to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.”
Results from the Dettol Habit Study showed only 28 per cent of the overall survey population wash their hands with soap more than six times a day and 2 per cent do not wash their hands with soap at all.
Thirty per cent Indians, 22 per cent Chinese, 21 per cent Malaysians, 18 per cent Middle Easterners, 14 per cent South Africans, 13 per cent French, 8 per cent of Australians, Canadians, Germans and British and 7 per cent from the US all admitted that hand washing is not a priority for them.
The study also showed that 5 per cent who never wash their hands after using the toilet have had more than 14 days off work due to infectious illnesses in the last year, which is more than double the global average of 2.63 per cent who use a surface cleaner more than six times a week have had 0 days off work for infectious illnesses in the last year when compared to 57 per cent of those who use surface cleaner less than six times per week.
Presenting the Middle East findings, which are composed of data from Saudi Arabia and UAE, professor Tariq Madani, medicine and infectious diseases, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, and advisor to the Minister of Health, said: “Most Middle Eastern people make an effort to wash their hands regularly and keep their homes clean, but only 19 per cent of the population wash their hands with soap more than 6 times a day.”
“While women, tidy people, students and people under the age of 35 in the Middle East, are more diligent in their approach, other groups like men, people aged 65 plus, critical/quarrelsome people and manual workers need more encouragement to improve hygiene standards,” he said.
“There is a need for intensive hygiene education programmes to significantly help reduce infectious illnesses across the Middle East,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service
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