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Procter unveils anti-bacterial soap

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – Consumer goods company Procter and Gamble is now angling for a share of the antiseptic soap segment with the launch of ‘Safeguard anti-bacterial’ soap in Kenya.

The firm’s Managing Director Adema Sangale explained that with this venture, the company is looking to not only increase its brand portfolio but also enable it to play a role in advocating for good hygienic practices in the country.

Although the market is crowded with products some from well established companies, Sangale believes that they have a competitive advantage that will enable them to capture a significant share of the pie.

“We aim to meet the needs of the consumers so we aim to compete with anyone in the market – not through direct competition- but by ensuring that the consumer has the right product that delivers on the promise to allow them to choose us consistently,” she said of their strategy.

The multinational, whose brand portfolio reaches approximately 4.2 billion consumers worldwide every day, hopes to ride on the back of this success to make inroads in Kenya.

And given that their fast consumer goods such as ‘Pampers’ diapers, ‘Always’ sanitary towels and Ariel’s detergent washing powder are already doing very well in the country, Ms Sangale expressed confidence that their vision for ‘Safeguard’ was not far out of reach.

“We felt that there was a need and a niche in the market for an anti-bacterial soap that gives an unbeatable germ protection and prevents the re-growth of germs for up to 12 hours and that is what we hope to bring to the market,” the MD stressed during the launch.

The ‘Safeguard’ will be available in two variants and comes in 80 grams and 175 gm packs.

Its launch has been endorsed by the Ministry of Health and will be accompanied by a hand-washing campaign in schools where they target to reach thousands of school going children.

“We aim to teach hygienic practices to school children at the point in which they can start to understand what hygiene and hand washing is all about. We will be going to schools all over the country,” the manager said adding that they aim to target in excess of 1,000 schools in the first year.

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Their efforts were commended by speakers who attended the launch including the Deputy Director of Medical Services Dr Elizabeth Ogaja who reiterated the need to encourage hand washing with soap and water as a first line of defense against aliments such as diarrhoea.

By eradicating or reducing diarrhoeal diseases she said, the country will lift the heavy health burden that they have not only on the populating resulting in nearly 30,000 deaths in a year but also on the economy.

“This milestone launches yet another huge step towards enabling Kenyans to protect themselves from illnesses that can be avoided via fundamental hygiene rules and have a healthier life,” Mrs Ogaja emphasised.

Through partnerships such as the one with Procter and Gamble, she felt confident that the government would be able to achieve its goal of creating awareness and reinforce the health and hygiene messages across the country.

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