YANGON, Myanmar--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Administrator Rajiv Shah yesterday helped deliver the first liter of clean drinking water under the Global Development Alliance (GDA) between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to improve health in this country. This milestone first liter, which marks the launch of the partnership, was delivered at a community in North Okkalapa Township, Yangon. Over the next two years, USAID and P&G intend to make joint investments of at least $2 million on health projects aimed at providing clean drinking water through provision of P&G Purifier of Water packets; promoting better hygiene behaviors; and building capacity to deliver improved health services to mothers and children. Population Services International (PSI) will implement these projects in-country.
Joining a community training session for mothers and children on how to use P&G Purifier of Water packets to clean dirty, turbid water, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah said “Up to 12,000 children here die every year from diarrhea. By partnering to scale up proven solutions -- like the P&G Purifier of Water packets -- we are helping to end extreme poverty and investing in this country’s untapped potential."
P&G has been providing clean drinking water for nearly a decade through its not-for-profit Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, sharing hundreds of millions of its award-winning P&G Purifier of Water packets to water insecure populations across the world. The powdered water purification product is a simple and effective way to make clean drinking water for the entire family, as the packets turn dirty, potentially deadly water into clean and drinkable water in only 30 minutes. Each sachet of P&G Purifier of Water contains 4 grams of powder that clean 10 liters of water, and has helped to reduce diarrheal disease incidence in the developing world by up to 90%. In November 2012, The Economist magazine recognized it as one of the world’s most amazing social innovations. To date, this simple but powerful innovation has saved an estimated 37,000 lives and prevented over 280 million days of diarrheal illnesses across 75 countries.
P&G Purifier of Water has been particularly effective in this country, which is prone to natural disasters including floods, cyclones, droughts, and earthquakes. The program was first deployed to address a severe shortage of clean drinking water that resulted from Cyclone Nargis in 2008. Working with NGO partners, P&G responded to the crisis by providing over 30 million liters of clean drinking water to disaster victims across the country. Since 2011, P&G and its NGO partners have provided an additional 45 million of liters of clean drinking water to families affected by floods, droughts or chronic water scarcity across the country.
P&G Vice President for Global Government Relations & Public Policy, Carolyn Brehm said “P&G is committed to playing its part in the inclusive development of this country through a range of social and economic investments that creates jobs, boosts capability and provides superior quality consumer products to local people. Through this partnership with USAID and PSI, we hope to improve the health of mothers and children and make meaningful gains in accelerating broad based development for people here.”
PSI Myanmar Senior Country Director Barry Whittle said “Diarrhea is the second major cause of death among children under five here and PSI, with generous support from USAID and P&G, will work to improve both household water quality and hand-washing practices in order to curb the spread of this disease. Through PSI’s expansive SUN Quality Health Network and numerous sales outlets, we will increase access to household water treatment products and educate families on hand-washing with soap to reduce the risk of diarrhea - improving the health of children."
About USAID and the Rangoon Mission
USAID improves maternal and child health through a combined community and facility-based model that addresses maternal, newborn, and child health and family planning and builds the capacity of auxiliary midwives, skilled birth attendants, and other community-based health care providers. USAID supports policies and interventions that overcome barriers to care. These barriers can include infections and nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy, a lack of hygienic practices during delivery, and inadequate post-partum care and counseling. Building upon the Child Survival Call to Action, USAID provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and its partners to scale up proven maternal, newborn, and child health interventions throughout the country.
About Procter & Gamble and the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program
The P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW) is a non-profit initiative sponsored by Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer good company and manufacturer of global, iconic and trusted brands like Vicks, Pantene, Gillette, Tide, Duracell, Oral-B, Whisper, Head & Shoulders, Olay and SK-II among several others. The CSDW initiative has provided nearly 7 billion liters of clean drinking water to people in need since 2004. CSDW has partnered with a diverse network of over 140 organizations to help distribute water purification packets in developing countries. In 2012, P&G won the US Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence in recognition of its CSDW initiative and humanitarian work. To learn more about the P&G CSDW Program, and see how the water purification packets work, please visit www.csdw.org
About Population Services International
PSI is a global health organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV and AIDS, barriers to maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. PSI has worked in-country since 1995 and is one of the largest providers of health products and services in the country. It has four channels of delivery and works in six health areas: HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), malaria, tuberculosis, reproductive health, pneumonia, and diarrhea.