Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Crusoe Osagie

The Federal Ministry of Health has partnered P&G to raise awareness on the need for oral and health development, noting that it is noteworthy that development partners such as P&G and other organisations are not leaving the task to the Federal Ministry of Health alone, but are championing awareness creation ‎on oral health in the country.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, during this year’s World Oral Health Day and the formal unveiling of the P&G Oral B Mobile Dental Clinic, in Abuja, reiterated the need for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) to achieve overall development in a nation.

According to the Minister, “It is noteworthy that development partners such as P&G and other organisations are not leaving the task to the Federal Ministry of Health alone but are actually championing awareness creation on oral health in the country.”

In addition to government funding, a veritable source of financing lies in the private sector, whereby manufacturers of oral health and related products are being encouraged to finance oral health activities in line with the PPP drive of the federal government.

The Head, Dentistry Division of the Federal Ministry of Health and representative of the Minister‎, Dr.AdebimpeAdebiyi, pointed out that: “As you are all aware, health is wealth and prevention is better than cure, I make bold to say that prevention is not only better, it is cheaper than cure. To combat the preventable dental diseases and reduce the burden of avoidable oral conditions, the National Oral Health policy was developed to provide a framework for the improvement of oral healthcare services for the Nigerian populace and the development of our health system in general.

“Globally, dental services are expensive but since oral health is an integral component of Primary Health Care (PHC), which is a policy thrust of government , the Ministry is making efforts at ensuring that primary oral health care is available in PHC facilities nationwide. Efforts are being geared towards integrating oral health promotion into programmes such as the Maternal and Child Health and Ward Health Services.”

In the light of the above and to also fill a crucial gap in the Nigerian health care sector and especially in the aspect of dental care, Oral B took the bold step to reintroduce the Mobile Dental Clinic program, a breakthrough trial program that will be of great benefit to millions of Nigerians. Oral B has been positioned as the National Oral Health Ambassador since 2014.

With the theme of the World Oral Health Day titled “Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body”, Oral B is set to take oral hygiene in Nigeria to a new level and substantially increase the overall public awareness of oral health.

The P&G’s Oral Care Brand Manager for Sub Sahara Africa, Aliza Leferink, said the general focus of the World Oral Health Day 2016 is on prevention to help Nigerians achieve significantly healthier lives starting from oral care.

She announced that the Mobile Dental Clinic Program provides free oral care education and dental health checks to patients who lack the means or dental insurance or any realistic way to pay for dental treatment.

In addition, she said: “We aim at educating Nigerians to have stronger and healthier teeth through the campaign and mission of Healthier, Stronger Teeth in One Week. Indeed healthy teeth and gums are fundamental to overall health and well-being. And maintaining healthy teeth can be achieved by following a number of simple principles. This comes from forming a great daily care habit, consistency and the right tooth paste use.”

“The theme for this year’s celebrations which is ‘Healthy mouth, health body’ is particularly apt when we consider that it has been estimated that about 90% of the world’s population will suffer some form of dental disease in their lifetime though many of these can easily be treated or prevented with a good oral care routine,” she added.