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Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) and Procter & Gamble Company address water-borne diseases in Dominican Republic

29 June, 2016

P & G Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) program and BRA began distributing 4.5 million water purifier packets combined with personal care and household cleaning products aimed at reducing hygiene and skin-related illnesses among 13,440 people living in vulnerable and impoverished sugarcane plantation rural communities known as “bateyes” in Monte Plata province.

MONTE PLATA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, July 1, 2016. – In order to further reduce water-borne illnesses, the Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) will complement its water purification program with distribution of household cleaning and hygiene products aimed at reducing the high prevalence of water-related skin infections and irritations among 3,200 families living in 15 batey communities (Cinco Casas, La Jagua, El Bosque, Luisa Prieta, Luisa Blanca, Cruce de Mela, Triple Ozama, Fria I, Fria II, La Cerca, Cruce Elmurth, Guasumita, La Mina, Antonci and Payabo) of the Monte Plata province.

These products, which include various lotions, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpastes, soaps, diapers, and more, address the lack of personal care products available to impoverished communities to maintain clean hygiene. Household products such as detergents, paper towel cleaners, toilet papers and disinfectants are also available in quantities not found in the rural areas. “In collaboration with our donation partner, Matthew 25: Ministries, we are pleased that we could help provide personal care and cleaning products in these communities. We hope that these products will help improve the lives of those living in the bateyes,” said Claude Zukowski, P&G Global Disaster Relief Coordinator.

BRA will not only distribute the care products, 50 of its community health promoters will are also on the ground educating local residents about the importance of maintaining proper household and personal hygiene in order to prevent illness. “BRA and P&G hope that providing these critical products to the community will add another angle of treatment to an already holistic program,” said Maria Virtudes Berroa, BRA’s Executive Director.

Emphasis is also placed on care of children, pregnant women and people living with HIV who face an increased risk of illness. Mothers are taught best practices in hygiene for their young children and are encouraged to visit BRA Medical Center for full pre-natal and pediatric care. “So far, the care products and water purifier sachets have received an overwhelming positive response from the community, with families visiting the BRA Medical Center to receive their complete wellness kits,” added Ms. Berroa.

Since its inception in 2014, under a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, the BRA/P&G’s CSDW aims to distribute 180 million liters of clean drinking water through water packets, creating daily supplies of water for more than 12,000 families living in those bateyes. Targeted families live in subpar living conditions, which often compound the effects of contaminated drinking water and make it harder to maintain good hygiene. Families are also supported with access to BRA Medical Center for quality health and HIV care, micronutrients for children and pregnant/nursing women, and food assistance through the USAID’s Food for Peace-Internal Food Relief Partnership Food Assistance Program.