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 recognizes 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.
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.