Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna
The Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna programme was initiated in 2002 as a rural health andhygiene initiative in India.In India, over 600,000 children under the age of five die annually from diarrhoea. Studieshave shown that almost half these deaths could have been prevented by simply washinghands with soap.In partnership with local government bodies, the Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna programmeis designed to spread awareness about the importance of washing hands with soap. It also promotes general hygiene in rural areas that are difficult to reach through usual marketingcampaigns such as television, press or in-store advertising and promotions.CommunicationSwasthya Chetna, which means 'Health Awakening', is a multi-phased activity that workstowards effecting hand washing behaviour change in rural communities. The mainmessage of the campaign is "Visibly clean is not really clean".The campaign has three communication tasks:
To establish the presence of germs, even on clean hands, through the use of a 'glow germdemo kit' that has been developed by Unilever for use in Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna. Thesimple and powerful tool makes unseen germs visible.
To establish the consequences of these hidden germs, which when ingested, can causestomach infections and diarrhoea, or be transferred to eyes causing painful eye infections,or infecting wounds.
To establish how current practice is not enough to fight these germs by using the glowgerm demo kit to demonstrate that washing with water is not enough, and that it isnecessary to wash hands with soap for germ protection.Tools used to communicate the central Swasthya Chetna message are adapted accordingto the specific audience.EngagementLifebuoy teams visit each village several times, engaging all segments of the communityand ensuring the formation of local 'self-help communities' that can sustain the message.School children, being initiators of change, make excellent ambassadors of communication, provided they find it fun and engaging. The element of LifebuoySwasthya Chetna that involves children focuses on fun, using stories, games, songs andquizzes. Efforts are made to ensure that the learning does not fade over time.Additionally, these visits also include a meeting with the Panchayat (village elders).