UAE: Reckitt Benckiser Arabia aims to bring key opinion leaders to work together for better development & execution of Hygiene & Health Education programs
Dettol HABIT Study by the Global Hygiene Council finds that only 19 % of Middle Easterners wash their hands with soap more than 6 times a day.
In line with its long-term commitment to a healthier Middle East, Reckitt Benckiser Arabia, today announced launch of the ‘Arab Hygiene Council’ at an exclusive press briefing held in Dubai. The members of the Arab Hygiene Council will involve healthcare officials from across the region.
An active 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 programs aimed at increasing awareness about risks of poor hygiene habits.
Elaborating on the role of the Arab Hygiene Council, 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 Arab Hygiene Council’s hygiene guidelines by sponsoring various education programs across the region”, added Frank M. Koch.
Reiterating the importance of hygiene, 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 your hands with soap after going to the toilet and before preparing food to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.”
He further stated that results from the Dettol HABIT Study showed only 28 % of the overall survey population wash their hands with soap more than six times a day and 2% do not wash their hands with soap at all. 30% Indians, 22% Chinese, 21% Malaysians, 18% Middle Easterners, 14% South Africans, 13% French, 8% of Australians, Canadians, Germans and British and 7% from the US all admitted that hand washing is not a priority for them.
The study further states that 5% 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% 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% of those who use surface cleaner less than six times per week.
Presenting the Middle East findings (which are composed of data from two countries – Saudi Arabia and UAE), Professor Tariq Madani, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Advisor to His Excellency the Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, stated that most Middle Eastern people make an effort to wash their hands regularly and keep their homes clean, but only 19 % 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+, critical/quarrelsome people and manual workers need more encouragement to improve hygiene standards.
Professor Madani concluded by stressing the need for intensive hygiene education programs to significantly help reduce infectious illnesses across the Middle East.
Further information please visit:
• Reckitt Benckiser: http://www.reckittbenckiser.com/
• Dettol: http://www.dettol.com/
• Hygiene Council:www.hygienecouncil.org
Reckitt Benckiser Arabia
Reckitt Benckiser Arabia (RBA) is the local subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser plc, the World no.1 in household cleaning*. RBA is based in Dubai and markets to 36 countries in the Middle East and in North Africa. The RBA portfolio includes a wide range of brands in fabric care (Vanish, Calgon), surface care (Harpic, Cillit), dishwashing (Calgonit), pest control (Pif-Paf and Mortein), Aircare (Airwick), health and personal care (Dettol, Immac and Veet, Lemsip, Fybogel, Disprin). Most RBA brands are market leaders in their respective categories in the region.
Reckitt Benckiser plc, headquartered in the U.K., markets its products in about 180 countries around the world. In 2010 Reckitt Benckiser completed the acquisition of SSL International and added Durex and Scholl to the list of Power brands. It also announced its new strategy for continued outperformance, along with a new vision and purpose in 2010. Our vision is a world where people are healthier and live better. Our purpose is to make a difference by giving people innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes.
* excluding laundry detergents
Dettol HABIT Study
The research study, which constitutes the largest hygiene survey ever undertaken (to our knowledge), was conducted tocharacterise the key determinants of personal and household hygiene behaviours that affect health cross-culturally; to pinpoint the key factors in different personalities and settings that determine hygiene behaviour, and highlight those that can be modified to improve health. The study was conducted from January to March 2011 by the Hygiene Council. In 2012, due to the size of the dataset, and complex nature of the study, a secondary analysis was carried out to further examine the factors that affect personal and household hygiene and health.
It was a strictly questionnaire-based study, with 1000 participants from 12 countries responding to 130 questions on hand-washing, surface cleaning and food preparation, handling and storage techniques, as well as their own history of health problems and demographics. The countries involved were the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, China, and India. Data was primarily collected through responses to web-based questionnaires. To ensure a study sample truly representative of the population, telephone calls and face-to-face interviews were conducted in some countries (South Africa, Middle East, Malaysia, Brazil, China, and India) to ensure the lower socioeconomic demographic was adequately captured.
The Hygiene Council
The Hygiene Council is an initiative bringing together leading global experts in the field of microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, immunology, and public health to formulate realistic and practical recommendations on simple hygiene measures to help the public improve levels of hygiene in the home and community and, in turn, help to prevent the spread of all kinds of infections.
The Hygiene Council members
Professor John Oxford, Professor of Virology at St Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK (Chair)
Professor Philip M. Tierno, Director Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, New York University Langone Medical Center, Clinical Professor of Microbiology and Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, USA
Dr Laura A Jana, Board-certified paediatrician and parenting expert, USA
Professor Barry D. Schoub, Executive Director, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dr Christopher Lee, Consultant Physician Infectious Diseases, Sungai Buloh Hospital, Malaysia
Professor Martin Exner, Managing Director, Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, University of Bonn, Germany
Professor Carlo Signorelli, Full professor of Hygiene and Public Health, University of Parma, Member of National Board of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI) and Provincial Councillor for Environmental policies (Lecco, Italy), Italy
Professor Tariq Ahmed Madani, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Advisor to His Excellency the Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dr Donald E. Low, Medical Director, Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, Canada
Dr KgosiLetlape, Executive Director of the Tshepang Trust, President of the Africa Medical Association, immediate Past Chairperson of the South African Medical Association (SAMA) and Past President of the World Medical Association (WMA), South Africa
Professor Dominic Dwyer, Clinical Professor, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, University of Sydney and Professor of Virology at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia
Dr NarendraSaini, Head of Department Microbiology & Immunology and Chairman Hospital Infection Control Committee, PushpanjaliCrosslay Hospital, Vaishali, India
Professor Eitan N Berezin, President Infectious Diseases Society, Brazilian Pediatrics Society, Brazil
Dr XuhuiZhong, Attending Physician, Department of Pediatrics, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China
Professor Patrice Courvalin, Director of Antibacterial agents at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Professor MitsuoKaku, Department of Infection Control & Laboratory Diagnostics, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
Joe Rubino, Director Shared Services, R&D Laboratories, Reckitt Benckiser
The Hygiene Council is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Reckitt Benckiser.
For further information, please visit the Hygiene Council website at www.hygienecouncil.org
The Hygiene Council is now on Twitter! Follow us @hygienecounci
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