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Pepsodent and Federal Ministry of Health to boost oral hygiene of 10 million children by 2020

Nigerian Dental Association President Dr. Bode Ijarogbe

Leading toothpaste brand, Pepsodent in partnership with the Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) has revealed plans to help millions of Nigerian families adopt the best oral health practices as it officially announced the kick off of its World Oral Health Day (WOHD) celebration ‎on Monday March 6, 2017 in Lagos.

World Oral Health Day is set aside globally to celebrate the benefits and impact of having good oral hygiene.

This year’s announcement continues after Pepsodent Nigeria emerged first globally in the World Oral Health Day 2016 challenge ahead of 31 countries.

“We are proud of our partnership Unilever Nig. Plc, who have made the success of the previous World Oral Health celebrations possible with their immense support towards oral health in Nigeria,” said Dr. Bode Ijarogbe president of the Nigerian Dental Association ‎while speaking about the continuous partnership between Unilever and the National Dental Association.  “It is imperative to prevent oral diseases in Nigeria by ensuring people brush twice a day, every day. In addition to the fact that many people cannot afford dental care, statistics also shows that there are only about 4,125 registered dentists i.e. about 40,000 people to 1 dentist.”

Oral diseases being the most common diseases worldwide despite the fact many of them are easily preventable through brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Pepsodent is set to help Nigerians eradicate oral diseases with lined-up dental activities including, school programmes across, health walk, community outreach, market activations and several other activities that will educate Nigerians on the many benefits and importance of brushing twice daily.

Speaking to the statistics that shows that 59% of Nigerians do not brush day and night, Nigeria Oral Care Category Lead- Ibironke Ugbaja Unilever Nigeria plc, said: “We have through our efforts in the past seen the transformative impact that brushing twice daily has on the oral health of Nigerians.”

“Our goal at Pepsodent is to continue driving improved oral care practices for a cavity free smile Nigeria. We are also aware that healthy dental habits start in childhood, which is why it’s vital that the Pepsodent Brush Day and Night campaign reaches more children than ever before. We have reached over 2.5 million children in about 3,500 schools since the inception of the programme. Our goal is to reach 10 million children by 2020.”

The Corporate Affairs Director for Unilever Soramidayo George also stated that recent research shows that establishing the twice a day brushing habit in children has benefits into adulthood. She said, “the effects of practicing good oral health from young have lasting effects. Nearly 20 years later, these children have experienced almost 20% fewer dental treatments than their peers, proving that these interventions make an impact for life.”

The Federal Ministry of Health, represented by Dr. Mrs. Bola Alonge Head of Dentistry also mentioned the fact that Unilever signed an exclusive MOU with the Federal Ministry of Health to sustain the momentum of the Unilever Oral health school’s programme initiative. Dr. Mrs. Bola Alonge commended the initiative, “less than 20% of Nigerians have access to oral care services which focuses on the curative care. Many oral health diseases can easily be prevented through simply brushing twice a day. This is why the Federal Ministry of Health and Unilever have taken on the task to teach children to brush day and night. Children are the change agent of the nation and hence we need to catch them young.”

It was disclosed at this year’s World Oral Health Day celebration presents another opportunity for Pepsodent to drive the point home to Nigerians concerning its message of adopting good oral practices.

The media parley ended with a Smiles Pledge by pupils in attendance.

The World Oral Health Day is set to hold on Monday March 20, 2017 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

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