JOHNSON’S® Baby, the global consumer brand, has launched a bold and inspiring project in South Africa that will improve the health of more than 3 million babies by 2020.
Healthy skin for healthier babies
Whilst we all love the softness of babies’ skin, most of us don’t realise that this amazing organ acts as the first line of defence against infection. Small babies have developing immune systems, and skin plays a very important role in shielding them from germs and disease.1 However, babies’ skin is more vulnerable than adult skin because it is 30% thinner2 and loses moisture 2 x faster.3 It needs very special care.
Why healthy skin matters
Poor socio-economic conditions make skin problems more difficult to confront. Babies are more exposed to the elements and conditions like dry itchy skin can get out of control, letting in bacteria that will impact negatively on a baby’s health as it grows.4
The plight of millions of mothers
According to the SA Health Review 2013, there are only 141 public sector professional nurses to every 100 000 people on average, nationally.
This means there are only 12 508 medical practitioners and only 59 890 professional nurses assisting these medical practitioners to serve the needs of the South African population.5
Ordinary South African mothers bear the brunt of this. They have to walk many kilometers carrying their unwell babies to the nearest government clinic, only to find they are unlikely to be seen that day. This is yet another reason why skin problems which are seen as non-life threatening, are going untreated in areas where socio- economic conditions are poor.
How JOHNSON’S® Baby is making a difference
Knowing that healthy skin is critical to the development of healthier babies and with a common goal, JOHNSON’S® Baby has launched The Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project, in partnership with Unjani Clinics.
The Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project aims to achieve the following:
- Give thousands of mothers and babies in need access to treatment through Unjani clinics;
- Educate mothers about skin health for babies – through a mass awareness campaign that aims to improve overall health through better skin health for babies;
- Strengthen health systems in vulnerable districts by investing in Unjani clinics, contributing to the establishment of new Unjani clinics and providing training and resources for Unjani nurses;
- Work with dermatologists and healthcare influencers to educate parents on how to attain healthy skin for healthier babies;
- Sponsor JOHNSON’S® Baby products and educational material to improve skin health for babies in need.JOHNSON’S® Baby partnership with Unjani Clinics & Dr. Carol HlelaUnjani is a sustainable initiative that aims to strengthen health systems in low-income communities throughout South Africa by empowering community nurses to own and operate their very own clinic within their community. There are currently 30 Unjani clinics in South Africa providing thousands of mothers and babies in poverty access to treatment.
Knowledge is power, which is why JOHNSON’S® has also partnered with Dr. Carol Hlela to help educate Health Care Professionals in these communities, alongside others, about baby skin health. Dr. Carol Hlela is a Paediatric Dermatologist with a Masters in Science in Global Health Science (MSc GHS) and a PHD in Clinical Medicine from Oxford University. She has become a pioneer in Dermatology and has become a leader in providing quality baby skin care to help reduce the rise of skin diseases in babies in Africa.
While completing her community service in rural KwaZulu-Natal, she realised that the majority of her patients had skin rashes, and that getting medical help took a distance of almost 300km. This inspired her journey to specialise in paediatric dermatology, as she was exceedingly familiar with the importance of healthy baby skin. When approached to get involved with The Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project, she felt compelled to support the initiative as it aligned exactly to what she was already trying to achieve. “The Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project is helping me to realise my personal goal to improve children’s lives through skincare”, says Dr. Hlela.
The Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project will provide a platform for community nurses to assist and educate mothers and will provide thousands of babies with access to primary healthcare. An initiative like this delivers firm partnerships and unites us in serving a greater purpose. From educating mothers, to empowering community nurses and helping them create jobs, The Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project focuses on empowerment and sustainability through health and education. “By 2020, we aim to improve the health of more than 3 million babies in South Africa” – a powerful statement by JOHNSON’S® Baby Portfolio Manager, Jacquelyn Paterson.
This education and aid project gives mothers in poverty access to the best quality baby healthcare, skincare advice and products for better everyday health, as it aims to promote healthy skin for healthier babies. The Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project invites you to join the conversation and touch the lives of babies with #johnsonsbabyhealth.