RB India, (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), makers of hygiene and sanitation products such as Dettol and Harpic, is launching two ‘affordable’ products to help eradicate preventable child deaths from diarrhoea in India, Pakistan and Nigeria, in partnership with Save the Children, UK, an NGO.

Announcing the partnership here on Wednesday, Roberto Funari, Executive Vice-President, Category Marketing, RB, said the two products – a multi-purpose soap bar and toilet powder – were part of the company’s efforts to tackle the ‘nonsense’ of diarrhoea, which claimed the lives of 123,668 children in India in 2014, according to UNICEF.

“Our strategy is to give people innovative solutions that look beyond commercialisation of products,” said Funari, terming the partnership a “breakthrough initiative”. The toilet powder, made from natural waste such as coconut and rise husk and lemon derivatives, is designed for pit latrines and degrades faecal matter into water and biogas and also cuts bad odour, said John Wasonga, senior R&D Manager, RB. The anti-bacterial soap bar is a personal-cum-fabric cleaner and minimises water use, he added.

The products, developed by the company along with Danish firm Novozymes, BASF and the University of Nairobi, will initially be piloted in Pakistan and Nigeria and in India by early 2016. The company, however, has not yet decided the pricing, said Nitish Kapoor, RB India MD.

The partnership is part of the Save the Children’s Stop Diarrhoea programme aimed at preventing, controlling and treating the disease.

Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children UK, said: “This ground-breaking innovative partnership will … pioneer how the private sector and NGOs can accelerate change for children.”