Colgate-Palmolive has a long-standing commitment to supporting organizations and initiatives globally that focus on the health and well-being of people in need.
A Global Focus on Oral Health and Global Handwashing
For close to 100 years, Colgate has been involved in oral health education and preventative treatment programs, educating children and adults about good oral health practices and care. Colgate's largest and most comprehensive global oral health initiative is our oral health education program, Bright Smiles, Bright Futures. Since the program's inception in 1991, it has reached more than 500 million children globally at a rate of 50 million children annually in 80 countries.
As part of our focus on oral health for children, Colgate has partnered with the World Health Organization's Global Child Dental Health Taskforce to create 30 Oral Health Centers of Excellence in different countries around the world. Colgate is helping the Taskforce achieve its mission to significantly improve the oral health of children worldwide and to help eradicate cavities in children within the next 20 years. Colgate sponsors the Global Child Dental Fund and Give Kids A Smile, a partnership with the American Dental Association to provide education along with preventative and restorative care to low-income children who do not have access to dental care. In areas such as India, Mexico and Papua New Guinea, Colgate has supported Operation Smile, an organization that provides treatment to children and young adults with cleft lips and cleft palates.
Proper Handwashing is not only good personal hygiene; it is one of the single most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease and infection, according to health experts. Despite this, Handwashing with soap is still not universally practiced. As a leading global manufacturer of bar and liquid hand soaps, Colgate recognizes its responsibility to communicate the importance of proper Handwashing.
Colgate partners with public health officials worldwide to reach millions of children annually with its "Clean Hands, Good Health" (link) global Handwashing program in conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since its inception, the program has touched more than 20 million children in more than 20 countries on five continents.
In 2009 in Thailand, Colgate's Protex partnered with the Ministry of Public Health to launch a campaign entitled "Germ Free with Cleaner Hands." The campaign is focused on educating users to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus. To help raise awareness, Colgate delivered the message to children with in-school activities, including stickers and cartoons, and to adults at sky train stations. In Puerto Rico, through educational messages and soap donations, Clean Hands, Good Health played an active role with the Ministry of Health to help stem the spread of a local meningitis outbreak.
A similar program entitled "Clean Hands Zero Bird Flu" reached more than 15 million elementary school students in Thailand. In 2009, Colgate-Palmolive reached out to 25,000 public and private schools across the U.S. to donate educational materials on Handwashing and Softsoap liquid hand soap. For examples of activities and Handwashing tip sheets, please visit Colgate's www.latherupforgoodhealth.com.
Much like Colgate's "Bright Smiles, Bright Futures" educational dental hygiene program, "Clean Hands, Good Health," aims to become part of school curricula around the world. Colgate serves on the steering committee of the World Bank sponsored Handwashing initiative, the Global Public Private Partnership to Promote Handwashing with Soap. This global partnership, established in 2001, aims to empower families, schools, and communities in developing countries to prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections by supporting the universal promotion and practice of proper Handwashing with soap at critical times.
In addition to our global focus on oral health and Handwashing, Colgate is involved in a variety of programs supporting general health and well-being, as well as efforts to confront HIV/AIDS and to prepare for a global influenza outbreak.
To read more about Colgate's commitment to health and well-being in communities where we operate in emerging markets, please click here.