Safeguard Pakistan School Education
Program Empowering Children with Hygiene Education:
What’s new about this program?
The Safeguard School Program connects with kids in a language that they understand. This program leverages the animated character Commander Safeguard as the communication vehicle to make the overall hygiene message relevant, memorable and engaging for school children. Commander Safeguard communicates with children in a way that is novel and exciting
The Safeguard School Program promotes handwashing awareness and brings about habit change at the grassroots level in Pakistan by becoming an ally in empowering children with health and hygiene education. The program has its roots in the Karachi Soap Health Study (2002) led by the Centers for Disease Control, HOPE and Procter & Gamble. The study showed that regular handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by up to 50 percent.
In Pakistan, where every year more than 250,000 children die from diarrhea, this message of handwashing becomes a message for survival.
Partnership with Public Sector Health Organizations to make a difference Health and hygiene programs are carried out in collaboration with the PMA, the largest body of doctors across Pakistan, and the IDSP, which is working to create awareness about
infectious diseases prevention in Pakistan. These credentialing partners help Safeguard in recruiting and training doctors and preparing tutorial material communicated in schools.
Safeguard School Program has empowered more than 5 million school children between the ages of 6 and 11 years with hygiene education over the last four years. To date, this program has
covered more than 10,000 schools in 100 cities of Pakistan.
Using a memorable, engaging and child-friendly vehicle – Commander Safeguard – to spread and reinforce health and hygiene messages is far more effective with children than standard
Private Sector companies like Procter & Gamble bring unique consumer understanding and marketing expertise which, if combined with public sector health organizations, can lead to new
innovative ways to influence hand wash behavior change.
The Safeguard school program has two components:
1. Execution: The objective of the execution component is to spread and reinforce health and hygiene messages among children across Pakistan in a memorable and engaging manner. A typical school program day consists of Safeguard’s team of qualified doctors
visiting schools, where they conduct hygiene tutorial sessions. In these tutorials, children are taught about germs and how they are spread through casual contact via a germ visualization demo. They are also taught how to wash their hands properly through a handwashing demo. This hygiene message is reinforced through a
Commander Safeguard animated cartoon. Each student is then given take-home educational material so that they can continue to learn and monitor their hygiene habits with their families.
2. Reseeding component: The objectives of the reseeding component are to ensure that health and hygiene learning continues long after the Safeguard team has completed its health tutorial and to help schools institutionalize this learning through activities like “Health Days.” A Health Day is the celebration of health and hygiene organized and led by the schools themselves. Schools have celebrated Health Days in various ways, among
them drama competitions, debates, singing competitions, art galleries, health awareness walks, and community cleanliness drives – all organized around the theme of health and hygiene..