FG, Unilever Target 5m Children on Oral Health by 2020
The Federal Ministry of Health has renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Unilever Nigeria PLC to reach over five million Nigerian children to improve their Oral Health Education by year 2020.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole , represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Abdulaziz M. Abdullahi made this known during the press briefing to commemorate the 2018 Oral Health week, with the theme “Strengthening and Fostering Collaborations to improve the Oral Health of Nigerians’,’ recently, in Abuja.
The Minister noted that the Ministry had earlier signed an MOU with Unilever Nigeria during the 2016 National Oral Health week.
He further said that “Since 2016 till date, about 4.5 million Nigerian school children have been reached on Oral Health Education and Oral Health Behavioural change programmes in Abia, Lagos, Rivers, Ondo, Delta and Enugu States.
“Today, the MOU would be renewed to reach out to other school children in more States of the Federation,’’ he added.
Prof. Adewole informed that the Dentistry Division in collaboration with the Non-Communicable Diseases Division would incorporate an Oral Health component into the National Steps Survey on Non-Communicable Diseases.
He pointed out that the survey was aimed at getting a more recent National Data on Oral Diseases in Nigeria.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, FMOH, Mr. Abdulaziz M Abduallahi, represented by the Director, Hospital Services, FMOH, Dr. Joseph Amedu, said that the National Oral Health Week was celebrated annually as institutionalized in the National Oral Health Policy as one of the veritable strategies to promote and raise awareness on Oral health nation – wide.
In his remarks, the Regional Sales Director, Unilever Nigeria, Mr. David Ebah, said that from the inception of the partnership, the company had reached five million children.
He further added that the children were from over 5000 public and private Schools in 19 states of the federation.
“We are determined to reach other five million children to improve their lives by 2020.
“This is part of our global oral care Social Mission Agenda which is to improve the oral health of 100 million people by 2020.”
In his Goodwill message, the Chief Executive Officer, Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation, Dr Seidu Bello, commended Federal Government’s commitment towards improving Oral Health in the Country.
He also reiterated the commitment of the foundation to collaborate with government and key stakeholders to offer free cleft and facial deformity surgeries across the country.
According to him, ‘’the foundation has provided over 1,027 free surgeries in the past eight years across Nigeria’’.