Sanofi partners with Save the Children South Africa to help defeat diarrhoea

Campaign to impact 2 million lives via hygiene education and access to water

Sanofi partners with Save the Children South Africa to help defeat diarrhoea

Johannesburg, 13 October 2022: Global pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, and non-profit organisation, Save the Children South Africa, have launched a campaign in KwaZulu-Natal to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea and diarrhoea-related deaths among children under the age of five.

The campaign will kick off in the Inanda district and comes as the province continues to suffer higher rates of water-borne diseases following damage to its water and sanitation infrastructure by severe flooding earlier this year. Diarrhoea cases are also set to increase from the start of the rainy season this month[1].

Sanofi and Save the Children South Africa, hope to use the campaign to impact over 2,000,000 lives by providing hygiene education and access to safe drinking water. It will see the installation of water tanks at early childhood development centres (ECDs) while rolling out education campaigns on healthy hygiene habits to children and caregivers at these centres, and through child health awareness days, reaching community members at large.

According to UNICEF, around 480,000 children under the age of five died from diarrhoea-related diseases in 2019[2]. This means that diarrhoea caused about 9% of deaths in this age group2. In the eThekwini District, where Inanda is located, diarrhoeal disease caused around 12% of deaths among children under five between 2012 and 2017, the District Health Barometer shows[3]. This makes diarrhoeal disease the second leading cause of death among children in that age group in Ethekwini3. Children living in informal settlements, which lack access to sanitation and clean water, are especially vulnerable.

A situational analysis by Save the Children South Africa highlighted that maternal and infant mortality rates in Inanda remain high, while diarrhoea and malnutrition are also a concern among children under five1. The proximity of informal settlements with poor sanitation to rivers has resulted in the contamination of water sources, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases. The damage inflicted by the recent floods has exacerbated these challenges.

Micah Naidoo, Sanofi Head of Consumer Healthcare: Africa, says the campaign hopes to make a tangible impact on communities by fighting diarrhoea at a time when children are at an even higher risk than before. “Sanofi is committed to ensuring that no child dies of preventable disease, especially when there are effective treatments available. Diarrhoea is preventable and can be treated. Through this campaign, we hope to help to equip caregivers, parents, and teachers to reduce the risk of diarrhoea and keep their children safe and healthy.”

Naidoo says the partnership with Save the Children was a natural fit for Sanofi as the NPO has extensive expertise, experience and capacity in civil society development, quality capacity-building approaches, and the implementation and management of education, health, and child protection programmes.

Furthermore, Sanofi’s leading probiotic, Enterogermina – which assists in maintaining the natural balance of bacterial flora in the gut4 – is also a natural fit in terms of landing the message on the importance of healthy hygiene habits and good gut health.

Steve Miller, CEO of Save the Children South Africa, says the organisation can only continue its work through the support of partners like Sanofi. “Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. We work to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Together, we are able to step in to support these communities at a critical time to achieve these goals for the children living in the area.”

After initially focusing on Kwazulu-Natal, the campaign will be rolled out to other provinces and areas of need with influencers including Jessica Nkosi, DJ Tira, Ayanda Borotho, Buli Makhubo and LeAnne Dlamini set to help broaden its reach.


  1. Kwazulu Natal Department of Health, 2016. Ethekwini District Health Plan 2015/16. Available online: (Accessed on 4 October 2022)
  2. UNICEF. Diarrhoea [Internet]. Available online: (Accessed on 30 September 2022)
  3. Naomi Massyn, Candy Day, Noluthando Ndlovu, Thesandree Padayachee, 2020. Health Systems Trust. District Health Barometer 2019/2020. Available online: (Accessed on 4 October 2022)
  4. Sanofi. Enterogermina®2 billion [Internet]. Available online: (Accessed on 4 October 2022)

About Sanofi:

We are Sanofi, an innovative global healthcare company. We chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. Our team, across some 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. We provide potentially life-changing treatment options and life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people globally while putting sustainability and social responsibility at the centre of our ambitions.

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Note to the Editor: If children are affected, we’ve got something to say. Our team of experts are available for comments, interviews and information

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