JIS News

The month of October will be observed as Oral Health Month, under the theme ‘Good Oral Health is the key to unlocking a healthier way of life’.
The month, which is being celebrated through the partnership of the Ministry of Health and Environment, Colgate Jamaica, and the Jamaica Dental Association, aims to educate and inform the public about the critical link between oral health and chronic diseases.
A major part of the thrust for this year, will focus on diabetes and heart disease, which are major causes of death and morbidity among the Jamaican population.
Speaking at the launch, held at the Ministry of Health and Environment’s downtown offices in Kingston, yesterday (Oct. 1), Senior Product Manager at Kirk Distributors Limited, Keisha Cardoza, said that the national activities in observance of the month will seek to promote positive oral health practices by creating a platform to highlight the benefits of good dental hygiene and oral care.
“The main focus will be on education and treatment,” she said, adding that greater emphasis will be placed on the benefits of oral care. She also pointed out that incentives will be given to individuals who participate in the activities during the month.
Throughout the month, a series of free dental check ups will be held, at which educational oral health leaflets and toothpaste samples, along with toothbrushes and T-shirts will be given to individuals who participate.
She also informed that the challenge of the programme is to reach 50,000 individuals mostly children through education. Additionally, 5,000 “smiles” are being targeted. She pointed out that the targets will be met through the assistance of the dental nurses and assistants.
Other activities, which will be held in observance of Oral Health Month, across the island include: the main exhibition from October 1 to 3 at the Ministry of Health’s lobby in Kingston; an exhibition and dental screening at the University of Technology (UTech) from October 6 to 10; an oral health services research presentation on October 9; Food for the Poor ‘Staff Day’ on October 24; a medical and dental symposium for dental professionals on October 22; a Jamaica Dental Association banquet on October 25; and a National School Oral Health Educational Campaign from October 13 to 31.
President of the Jamaica Dental Association, Dr. Dennis Jones, in his remarks, noted that oral health and other diseases have an intimate connection with other areas of the body and as such, the importance and training of proper oral hygiene cannot be overemphasised within the society.