Determined to ensure good dental care for all Nigerians, the federal government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health and Unilever Nigeria Plc. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote oral hygiene and education in10 million Nigerian pupils.
The MoU was signed at the 6th edition of the National Oral Health Week in Abuja over the week where the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that oral health is an important tool for achieving good general health.
“Fewer than 20 per cent of Nigerians have access to oral care services and most of these services focus on curative rather than preventive care which might represent more effective tool for meeting the oral care needs of the population,” he added.
The Minister further commended Unilever Nigeria Plc for accepting to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health to promote the oral hygiene of 10 million Nigerian school children by providing educational materials and product facilities through the Pepsodent oral health schools’ programme.
Accordingly, the Brand Manager Pepsodent, Unilever Nigeria Plc, George Umoh, said Unilever was committed to doing business in a sustainable way and as part of its sustainability agenda “we have committed to improving the lives of 10 million Nigerian children by the year 2020. To this regard, we have signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the federal government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigerian Dental Association and other stakeholders to promote oral hygiene and education and the habit of brushing twice daily (Morning and Night) a global best practice to prevent the prevalence of dental caries and other oral health diseases in Nigeria.”
Notwithstanding, since the launch of the Pepsodent Oral Health Schools programme in 2014, Unilever Nigeria has so far reached 2.5 million Nigerian children directly in over 3,500 public primary schools with products (toothpaste and toothbrushes) educational materials and a 21-day oral hygiene programme, teaching them to imbibe the culture of brushing twice-daily using a fluoride containing toothpaste such as Pepsodent.
“We believe children are change agents. They have the will power to influence their parents, siblings and people around them to take their oral health seriously,” he said.