Clean Hands Save Lives

Hand washing is one of the most effective and affordable health interventions, representing a cornerstone of public health. And water alone is not enough—using soap and water at critical times, such as after using the toilet and before handling food, can help reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease by almost half, and cut respiratory infections by nearly 25%. It is also recommended as a critical action to prevent the spread of influenza H1N1.

Establishing good hygiene habits early is essential to protecting people from disease. That’s why Safeguard, in partnership with NGOs and key governments around the world, has embarked on a public health campaign designed to keep people safe and healthy.

Escudo In Mexico

When the H1N1 flu pandemic swept the world, Mexico was hit hard, and the government closed most of Mexico City’s public facilities to contain the disease. Safeguard, known as Escudo in Mexico, tapped into the deep human insights that “mom will do anything to protect the ones she loves,” and that protection was more important than ever with the H1N1 threat.

Escudo partnered with the government, health officials, and the Mexican Red Cross to launch Global Hand Washing Day. Through a series of in-store displays and TV spots, Escudo touched and improved the lives of Mexican consumers by spreading the message that “clean hands save lives.” The campaign enabled Escudo to become the number one antibacterial soap in Mexico. It also led to Escudo’s endorsement by the Mexican Red Cross—making Escudo the only commercial brand endorsed by the organization.

Safeguard: Building a Great Wall of Hygiene in China and Beyond

The Safeguard Health Great Wall campaign, which also employs the idea that “clean hands save lives,” aims to engage schoolchildren in China as effective agents for change. The effort broadens health hygiene education in schools, as well as building sanitation facilities in rural areas to encourage hand washing.

The program’s goal is to educate 10 million children by 2018. Consumer purchases of Safeguard help to fund the program, while volunteer opportunities allow individuals to experience directly the importance of good hygiene.

In addition to China and Mexico, similar outreach efforts have also been led by P&G in other countries. In Pakistan, Safeguard will be establishing hand washing facilities in schools and delivering hand hygiene education to approximately 600,000 school children. And in the Philippines, Safeguard will help deliver hand hygiene education to one million school children, while a portion of Safeguard sales go toward building new sanitation facilities

Global Handwashing Day October 15