By Dickens Wasonga.
Procter and Gamble through its leading Pampers Baby and Family Care Brand has established a pilot program aimed at promoting healthy development of babies and children in the greater Nyanza and Western regions.
The program, embodied in a Community Life Center, was set up by Procter and Gamble in partnership with Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP) a local implementing NGO.
Statistics from the Kenya Health Demographic Survey (KHDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) show that out of every 1000 at babies, 149 died from preventable diseases, a figure that is higher than Africa’s average of 38 in every 1000.
Research conducted by the implementing agent in the Nyando region of Nyanza province over the last five years showed that diarrhea and malaria are preventable yet major causes of infant and child mortality.
The new Community Life Improvement Center, dubbed the â€˜Pampers Baby and Family Center’ has four components; a clean water pump station for dispensing to the general public, a model traditional kitchen, an information resource center for the community and a baby and family care center.
Speaking at the official launch of the facility, Procter and Gamble East Africa Managing Director Adema Sangale explained that the Community Life Improvement Center was essentially a micro-franchise model with a market-based approach that had a social agenda of improving the community’s life thereby addressing social health and entrepreneurship issues in a sustainable manner.
There is a wide range of products sold at the Pampers Baby and Family Care Center that address the preventable diseases and promote healthy baby development.
“One of the products is safe water. The community plant here uses a mechanical pumping process to draw raw water from the local river Nyando to a 1,000 liter header tank located three meters high from where the water is fed by gravity through a special filter into a second tank of equal capacity,” she explained noting that it had been designed to pump a similar amount in a day.
This clean water is then distributed through piping to taps from where it is dispensed to the general public at a nominal cost. The water supply system, she said, was ideal for providing clean water for multiple uses in several households in the region.
PuR water purifier sachets are available for home treatment of the river water for individuals unable to fetch water from the center.
SWAP works with 900 groups of entrepreneurial women across the region to build capacity and link them to micro finance institutions to grow their small scale businesses. A case in point is the Baby and Family Center, a self-sustaining community based small business run by local entrepreneurs.
SWAP Program Director Alie Elevald said that the success of the pilot program was encouraging and would form the basis to consider the expansion of the concept of life improvement centers comprising Pampers Baby and Family Care Centers and community water purification and supply systems.
As a baby and family care brand, we believe that this initiative is in line with Pampers brand values.
The new baby and family care center is run by 4 people; one manager, an assistant manager and a staff of two.