06 July, 2023: Haleon, a global leader in consumer health, today announced the signing of a five-year agreement with international children’s charity Save the Children, as part of its ongoing drive to improve health inclusivity around the globe.
Delivered through Haleon’s community investment programme, this new collaboration will focus on overcoming key barriers to achieving better health outcomes for children, families and their communities in India – the largest global producer of natural mint. As a key ingredient in the mint flavours featured in many of Haleon’s products, this sees the company working with Save the Children to positively impact the farming communities from which its suppliers source the raw ingredient.
The first phase will focus on addressing health inequities through the delivery of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to 125,000 people within farming communities connected to the mint supply chain in Uttar Pradesh, India. Within these communities, access to safe drinking water can be scarce, while 37 per cent of homes do not have access to a toilet[i], and only 55 per cent of schools have usable toilet facilities[ii]. Limited information about safe water storage can also lead to the contamination of clean drinking water, with children falling ill from waterborne diseases like diarrhoea – one of the leading causes of death in children under five globally.[iii]
The programme aims to create a step change in attitudes and practices around sanitation and hygiene – essential components of public health – to encourage lasting healthy behaviours within these communities. This will be achieved through a targeted health literacy programme which shares regular information on water safety and positive hygiene habits with families.
Recognising that local cultural and societal norms in remote farming communities can result in women and girls having less control over their health, the programme also aims to improve gender equity by addressing potentially discriminatory norms and practices. Only 25 per cent of women in Uttar Pradesh are employed[iv], with women and girls less likely to be able to read and often bearing responsibility for caring for sick family members. They also carry the additional burden of managing their menstrual hygiene, with many lacking information on this. By equipping women and girls with information to better manage menstrual hygiene, the programme aims to improve health outcomes while building more equitable and resilient communities.
Henri Moore, VP Responsible Business, Haleon, said: “This new collaboration is a critical part of our community investment efforts which are focused on making better everyday health more inclusive for those who need it most. No child should have to suffer from the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, and all young women and girls have the right to information and tools to manage menstrual hygiene. By addressing health disparities in rural parts of Uttar Pradesh, we hope to play a key role in creating a brighter future for children, their families and the wider community, while driving a positive impact across the global value chain of our products which contain mint.”
Arielle Garton, Head of Partnerships at Save the Children UK, said: ”We believe all children should have a healthy childhood but inaccessible and poor-quality healthcare, health illiteracy, as well as societal barriers such as gender inequity and poverty, limits the opportunities this generation and the next have. We know we can’t tackle these issues alone, so we are delighted to be working with Haleon to combine our expertise to explore and develop health focused solutions driving positive impact that can be adapted, scaled and replicated.”
Haleon’s new collaboration with Save the Children forms part of its commitment to improve health inclusivity around the world. By 2025, the company aims to empower 50 million people a year to be more included in opportunities for better everyday health. Furthermore, the programme supports Haleon’s Healthy Mint Supply Chain strategy. This aims to support farming communities which are connected to the complex mint supply chain, by driving improvements across health and safety, local livelihoods, gender empowerment and reducing the environmental impact of mint production.
[i] Statistica (2022) Share of households with access to toilets across Uttar Pradesh in India in 2018, by type. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1062779/indiaaccess-to-toilets-by-type-uttar-pradesh/
[ii] Annual Status of Education Report (2016) Available: ASER Report Final Set 01 i to Page 12.pmd (asercentre.org)
[iii]Child mortality Fact Sheet (under 5 years) (who.int) Available: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/levels-and-trends-in-child-under-5-mortality-in-2020
[iv] International Institute for Population Sciences. (2017) National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) India: 2015-16. Available: 20265_UP State NFHS-4 Cover_SAP.indd (rchiips.org)