Call to action for wider business community to show solidarity and support for government and NGO Zika management efforts
SLOUGH, UK 12 FEBRUARY 2016 – In response to the global call for urgently needed resources to fight the spread of the Zika virus, RB is announcing a Zika Relief Package of $1 million USD consisting of both cash and product donations that will be made available to health authorities and international NGOs battling the outbreak. The Zika outbreak is having a profound impact on many communities in the Americas and RB shares the concern that is being felt around the world.
As a global leader in consumer health and hygiene, RB has provided support to communities during previous outbreaks such as H5N1 avian influenza, SARS and more recently Ebola. The company is committed to playing a role in combatting the spread of the Zika virus and protecting communities and families, in particular mothers and babies.
Although there is still no conclusive evidence of the causal link between microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome and the Zika virus, there is enough concern to warrant immediate action. Simple measures such as mosquito control, prevention of the spread of disease and the use of condoms all play a key role in protecting people from the far-reaching and fast-spreading Zika virus.
Through this Zika Relief Package, RB aims to provide resources that will be prioritized based on those areas needing immediate interventions and / or where it feels consumer awareness and education campaigns can be most effective in protecting the public. The initial investment includes both cash, as well as in kind donation of personal insect repellents and insecticides via our brands SBP, Mortein and Repelex and also the donation of 1 million Durex condoms that can be made available through NGOs and health authorities.
Through the breadth of our portfolio expertise, geographical reach and heritage in consumer health awareness campaigns, RB is uniquely positioned to deploy resources beyond the Zika Relief Package, across many relevant and vital areas of unmet need including quality pest control and protection against sexual transmission of the virus and prevention of unplanned pregnancy. RB has already engaged in dialogue with a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), both globally and in the region, about how best to target the assistance. RB shall be making further announcements as partners and campaigns are confirmed in the near future.
Business answering the call-to-action against Zika
RB recognises that this initiative alone is not enough to defeat Zika. Therefore, the company hopes that today’s announcement will inspire a wider movement within the business community to come together in a show of solidarity and combination of resources to fight Zika.
Rakesh Kapoor, Chief Executive of RB, said: “By establishing our Zika Relief Package, RB is committed to help combat this rapidly emerging public health threat. Moreover, I would call on other businesses to join the movement by offering their own unique areas of expertise and resources to help those at risk of Zika infection. Businesses like RB are built for speed and agility; it’s what keeps us successful in today’s fast-paced world.”
To avoid well-intentioned yet potentially fragmented efforts, RB believes that an organization such as the CDC or WHO may be required to help galvanize the business community into a coherent campaign and to help ensure assistance is delivered to those who are in most need.
RB’s Zika Relief Package is part of our long heritage of supporting important causes and reflects RB’s vision of a world where people have healthier lives and happier homes. Prevention and protection is core to this promise and through our brands we aim to minimize the impact of a wide range of infectious diseases. Each year RB allocates $1 million USD to address emerging calamities and health threats via Save the Children’s Emergency Fund.
RB* is the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company. The company has operations in over 60 countries, with headquarters in London, Dubai and Amsterdam, and sales in almost 200 countries. The company employs approximately 37,000 people worldwide.
With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 20 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Today it is the global No 1 or No 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global Powerbrands of Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Mucinex, Durex, Scholl, Clearasil, Lysol, Dettol, Veet, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Finish, Vanish, Calgon, Air Wick, Woolite and French’s. 80% of core revenues came from the health and hygiene categories of the portfolio.
Fuelled by a new breed of talent who blend intellectual curiosity with commitment to the highest quality standards, RB is set to redefine the world of consumer health and hygiene. RB people and its culture are at the heart of the company’s success. They have an intense drive for achievement and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in sustainability where the company is targeting a 1/3 reduction in water impact, 1/3 reduction in carbon and to have 1/3 of its net revenue coming from more sustainable products by 2020. It is also the Save the Children charity’s largest FMCG global partner, with a new partnership vision to radically reduce the world’s second biggest killer of under-fives, diarrhoea. Overall RB wants to reach 200 million people to improve their health and hygiene behaviour.
For more information visit www.rb.com *RB is the trading name of Reckitt Benckiser group of companies
Reckitt Benckiser (RB)
Patty O’Hayer, Director Communications & Government Affairs +44 1753 446715
Dr. Bernard Ng, Medical Affairs +44 1753 446228
1. World Health Organization. WHO Director-General summarizes the outcome of the Emergency Committee regarding clusters of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. 1 February 2016.
Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/emergency-committee-zika-microcephaly/en/. Last accessed 9 February 2016.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Media Statement. CDC adds 2 destinations to interim travel guidance related to Zika virus. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0203-zika-travel-guidance.html. Last accessed 9 February 2016.