Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc. (RB), a British multinational producer of health, hygiene, and home products, yesterday signed a memorandum with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health to launch the OSCAR project on the prevention of neonatal jaundice, aiming to boost its presence in the country.
|The launch of the OSCAR healthcare project |
With the first phase worth of over VND10 billion ($434,800), Reckitt Benckiser (RB) will sponsor 100 phototherapy devices for treatment of neonatal jaundice in 96 province/district-level hospitals in 10 cities/provinces across the country.
Besides, RB will also support the development and dissemination of training materials on early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease to healthcare workers as well as providing documents and information about the disease for parents. In collaboration with RB, the Maternal and Child Health Department (MCHD) under the Ministry of Health (MoH) will provide professional support throughout the project's implementation process.
Each phototherapy device can operate for at least 44,000 hours (approximately five years). Health experts expect the 100 phototherapy devices can support early treatment of neonatal jaundice for at least 150,000 newborns in five years.
Addressing the signing ceremony, Prof Dr Nguyen Viet Tien, Acting Deputy Minister of Health, said that neonatal jaundice is one of the most common diseases in newborns. About 85 per cent of full-term babies and most premature babies suffer clinical jaundice. About 6.7 per cent have jaundice in the first 24 hours, 20 per cent of whom need to get treated for neonatal jaundice.
Neonatal jaundice in East Asia occurs 6 times more often than in Europe. While neonatal jaundice is not a serious disease, if it is not detected early and treated in time, it will leave very severe sequelae (such as Kernicterus) for children, and can even result in death.
|Reckitt Benckiser and the Ministry of Health signed memorandum on OSCAR project |
“The OSCAR project initiated by RB to prevent neonatal jaundice will help mothers and caregivers detect the disease early while improving the knowledge and skills of healthcare workers in early detection and effective treatment of neonatal jaundice to help reduce the burden on families and society and reduce infant mortality,” said Tien.
Bech Soren, general manager of Reckitt Benckiser Vietnam, said: “RB is more than a company. It is a growing community that is present in over 60 countries with more than 40,000 talented and responsible partners, aiming to make the world a happier and healthier place. In Vietnam, we are committed to supporting community health improvement projects, especially for mothers and children. Through our leading global brand, Mead Johnson, we have had a fantastic co-operation with Healthcare Professional and the Ministry of Health."
According to him, the first community project in Vietnam is screening, diagnosis, and treatment of some congenital metabolic disorders (METABOLICS). RB has sponsored solutions and speciality milk to infants and young children who have congenital metabolic disorders. The project began in 2014 and since then saved over 250 children. The second community project is OSCAR which targets to minimise infant fatalities and to minimise complications caused by neonatal jaundice.
“With the efforts of RB and the strong support from MCHD, I believe that the OSCAR project will bring joy to parents when witnessing their children grow up healthily and happily. This is very meaningful to RB’s sustainability target in the world and in Vietnam,” he said.
At present, RB has several major brands in Vietnam, including Enfa, Strepsils, Durex, and Gaviscon, among others.
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