31% of people in the GCC took two or more sick days in 2012 due to cold and flu
26% of children missed more than four days of school in the last academic year
Dettol and good hygiene habits, are clinically proven to reduce illness by up to 75%
Dettol 'Mission for Health', supported by the Arab Hygiene Council, continues to drive for health and hygiene awareness, to reduce the spread of illness
Dubai, 02 December 2013
Dettol's 'Mission for Health' initiative, supported by the Arab Hygiene Council, urges the public to adopt good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of viruses especially during this time of the year. The cold and flu season normally begins as early as October, and can result in severe illnesses, particularly amongst children.
Although people in the GCC tend to think that cold and flu season does not exist due to the hot climate in the region, the World Health Organization has proven through research that during this time seasonal viruses actually exist in the GCC and can cause illnesses and infections. An omnibus survey, conducted in September 2012, by the 'Mission for Health', shows that:
Respondents felt that the biggest sources of germs in their lives came from contact with people coughing and sneezing (79%), unclean surfaces (71%) and flush knobs (66%). 28% of respondents admitted to never using antibacterial spray on their kitchen surfaces, an area which can often hold more household germs than the average bathroom, therefore leaving all family members susceptible to the viruses;31% of respondents took more than two days off due to illness. Similarly, 26% of children also missed more than four days of school in the last academic year.
As a leading medical body in the region, the Arab Hygiene Council (AHC) is committed to staying ahead of virus outbreaks and providing resources for the public to help prevent infection. Dr. Ola Mera, Arab Hygiene Council member and In charge of Excellency and Strategic Development of Health Policies Affairs, Ministry of Health, UAE said: "The results of this extensive survey show a strong level of knowledge in the GCC, when it comes to the role of anti-bacterial products to stop the spread of germs and as such, the cold and flu viruses. However, there is still more awareness needed for large sections of the population, who do not yet understand the vital role small changes to your daily routine can make. Through Dettol's medical education programs and our partnerships with local scientific authorities, we can continue to help limit the number of people who fall ill during the yearly cold and flu season."
As part of Dettol's 2013 'Mission for Health' programme, the public is encouraged to adopt better hygiene habits through regular hand washing and use of anti-bacterial products in their daily lives. Through interactive hygiene education, the initiative will be reaching out to 1.2 million students and 1.2 million new moms by end of 2013. The Arab Hygiene Council outlined a number of useful preventative measures to be taken to reduce the spread of cold and flu across homes, schools, hospitals and other public places:
1. Wash your hands for a minimum of 40 seconds at least six times per day and use hand sanitizing products regularly.
2. Avoid close contact with people who are infected with the cold and flu viruses. If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
3. Stay at home when you are sick: If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
4. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent the spread of germs which can infect others with the virus.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with cold and flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get a cold or flu by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.
6. Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects: Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with virus causing germs like the flu can help slow the spread of the virus.
About the Mission for Health
As a committed community partner, actively helping to improve health and hygiene standards across the Middle East, Dettol is leading a dedicated Mission for Health. This mission, fuelled by passion and expertise, focuses on educating and supporting mums, children and families across the Middle East to make better and more informed choices for their health and hygiene.
About the Arab Hygiene Council (AHC)
The Arab Hygiene Council (AHC) is a think tank of leading experts from around the Middle East who recognise and promote the fact that improved hygiene practices lead to better health. The AHC supports Dettol's Mission for Health initiative as the mission focuses on the core aspects that the AHC believe in; education and community involvement in order to raise hygiene standards in the region.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted by YouGov, the most quoted market research agency in the MENA, with a well-documented and published track record. Dettol's Mission for Health commissioned an omnibus survey to be carried out in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait and Qatar in order to research hygiene standards in the region. The survey was completed by 2389 respondents: 1009 in the UAE, 1006 in KSA, 224 in Kuwait and 150 in Qatar.
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© Press Release 2013