Centre for School Health Education and Environmental Hygiene (CSHEEH), an NGO, says it is working closely with Unilever to integrate oral hygiene into creche, nursery, and primary school curricula in the FCT.
Executive Director/Founder of the centre, Dr Folashade Momoh said this during an enlightenment campaign on the maintenance of good oral hygiene organised for pupils of Dayspring Creche, Nursery and Primary School, Kubwa FCT, Abuja.
Momoh said the essence of the campaign with the theme, “Be proud of your mouth for a lifestyle of smiles”, was to create more awareness among young children.
She noted that oral health hygiene affects every aspect of “our lives as individuals”.
According to her, integrating it into the school curriculum of young ones will help them practice good hygiene every day of their lives.
“We need to catch them young. We should not restrict this sensitisation to only the day of commemoration.
“It should be a continuous thing. We should be good role models to the children because whatever you tell them to do, they want to see you do it.
“If possible, it should be part of the school curriculum. It should not be just about theory. We should make it more practical by encouraging them to practice it at home.
“Let it be part and parcel of their lifestyle so that they will do it on their own.
“We came with 270 oral hygiene packages for the pupils and Unilever has also had health talks with them on steps to oral health hygiene,” she said.
Dr Olatunji Abdulkazeem, a Consultant Orthodontist at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), spoke of the need to bridge the gap left by many doctors who have accepted offers for better opportunities outside the country.
Abdulkazeem, who is also the Chairman, of the Nigerian Dental Association, FCT Chapter, observed that one thing standing out about the mouth is that if it is unable to function well as the only entrance to the body, it will tell on the entire body.
“One of the problems with an unhealthy tissue is the loss of function. If your mouth cannot function well, it will tell on your body.
“One of the challenges we are facing is manpower – doctors and dentists alike.
“Almost every week you hear of someone who has left or is about to leave the country,” he said.
He called for policies that will include oral care in primary health services.
“I think that there is one in the pipeline but it has not been implemented.
“If it is implemented, the dentist can visit and attend to the people even if it is twice a day,” he added.
The Proprietress of the school, Mrs Foluke Babade, applauded the team from the centre for its commitment to achieving a pro-oral hygiene society, through the oral health talks and the oral health products made available to the school.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 disclosed that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria