One of the world’s best-known cleaning brands is helping children in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) learn the importance of hand hygiene, by supporting an educational book created by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) researchers.
Multinational health and hygiene firm Reckitt Benckiser Arabia FZE, and its household brand Dettol, have supported the publication of 1,000 copies of ‘Bye Bye Germs: Be A Handwashing Superhero’ in the UAE, to teach youngsters there how to wash their hands properly to prevent germs spreading.
The brainchild of microbiologist Dr Katie Laird and education expert Professor Sarah Younie, Bye Bye Germs is part of the ‘Germ’s Journey’ series, a collection of learning resources designed to raise awareness of the importance of handwashing.
Thanks to Dettol’s support, the book has been adapted by publisher Medina Publishing to feature culturally relevant images and references for children in the Middle East.
Imran Yousuf, Marketing Director for Reckitt Benckiser, said: “Dettol Arabia is delighted to partner with ‘Bye-Bye Germs: Be a Handwashing Superhero!’ – a highly relevant, up-to-date resource, specifically developed to help educate young children in an informative and engaging way about how germs spread and the importance of why they need to wash their hands to prevent this.
“At RB, our purpose is to protect, heal, and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world, and via partnerships such as these, we live our mission to help protect people of all ages from harmful germs by highlighting the necessity of healthy habits especially in these times.”
A Germ’s Journey was initially published in 2017 to communicate the importance of handwashing at a young age, following extensive research by Dr Laird, head of the Infectious Disease Research Group, and Professor Younie, Education Innovation.
The Bye Bye Germs edition, first published in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, amplifies the importance of hand hygiene to prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses, explaining to children why handwashing is so important. It also helps them identify how viruses can be contracted and the difference between bacterial infections and viruses.
Alongside the books, there is also a wealth of free educational resources available to download in 10 different languages on the Germ’s Journey website.
“To have the support of Dettol, one of the world’s leading hygiene brands, is a very proud moment for us and testament to the research and hard work that has gone into the project over the years,” said Dr Laird.
“This collaboration demonstrates how we have successfully developed A Germ’s Journey into a reputable, trustworthy educational resource that truly helps young children understand the importance of hand hygiene.”
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Professor Younie said: “We are delighted to see Bye Bye Germs published in yet another country, helping more children around the world learn how to properly wash their hands and reduce the risk of germs spreading.
“Having Dettol’s backing in the UAE is a fantastic achievement which will further reinforce the book’s credibility and the important message we are sharing around the world.”
Retailers and schools throughout the UAE have already placed orders with Medina, while the Dettol-supported edition is also available to buy directly, through the publisher’s Amazon.ae shop.
“We have received a great deal of interest in the Bye Bye Germs UAE edition and a reprint is already looking likely based on pre-orders from retailers and schools throughout the Emirates,” said Shelly McDonald, Director of Medina Publishing LLC in the UAE.
“The support of Dettol Arabia gives us confidence that the message to wash your hands will be in the minds of UAE children, parents, carers and teachers for the foreseeable future.”
Since launching the Germ’s Journey project four years ago, Dr Laird and Professor Younie have also translated the book into Gujarati, and distributed it throughout the Gujarati region of Ahmedabad, India, and last year they developed a special edition of the original book for young children in West Africa.
In 2019, the series was brought to life at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum for its MiniBrum gallery; a child-sized world designed for youngsters to explore their understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through different role-play zones.
The museum incorporated A Germ’s Journey games and activities throughout the exhibition and offered health hygiene workshops for schoolchildren as part of its educational programme.
For more information about the Germ’s Journey project visit: www.germsjourney.com
Posted on Wednesday 3rd February 2021