JIS News

Approximately 60 per cent of the nation’s children do not have to do dental extractions due to the improved and consistent dental practices being promoted by the Ministry of Health, through its healthy lifestyle programmes.
Minister of Health, John Junor made this disclosure while addressing the launch of Oral Health Month at the Ministry’s King Street Offices in Kingston today (October 4).
He further informed that due to the advancement of the Ministry’s Salt Fluoridation programme, the decayed, missing and fill teeth index in children aged 12 years and under, had declined significantly from 6.7 to 1.08 per cent.
“That is a significant reduction indeed, and we want to congratulate those involved in that programme,” Minister Junor added.
The Salt Fluoridation programme was implemented islandwide by the Ministry in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 1985.
Mr. Junor explained that due to the advancement of the programme in Jamaica, the country was now giving technical assistance to other countries.
“We are now proud to say that we are providing technical assistance to other countries in this area of salt fluoridation,” he said.
The Minister also pointed out that the Ministry was focusing on dental care for vulnerable clients, such as children and the disabled and was looking at strategies to improve their oral health.
“I want to encourage everyone to participate at whatever level to ensure that this children’s programme is strengthened and widened and if we teach them right from they are young, then we will have less problems,” he said.
Launched under the theme, ‘Brushing Up on a Healthy Lifestyle’, the month-long event will also focus on adult oral hygiene.
“This month we will also focus on adults, and along with the Ministry of Health we will have exhibitions on dental care for everyone, including adults, at various locations throughout the month,” Andrea Fray, Business Development Manager for Colgate Palmolive informed.
Miss Fray pointed out that free dental care and public education sessions would be given at the exhibitions.
Meanwhile, Rolf Simmonds, Acting General Manager for Colgate Palmolive, explained that Colgate’s collaboration with the Ministry was geared towards community development. “We are here to give the best towards community development. We are also looking towards garnering support for Oral Health Month from the communities,” he added.
Mr. Simmonds also informed that over the next few months, Colgate would be distributing thousands of toothbrushes islandwide as the company sought to improve and increase oral health among Jamaicans.
During the month exhibitions will be staged islandwide at venues, such as the Ministry of Health, Font Hill Primary School in St. Thomas, Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston, Windsor Girls’ Home in St. Ann’s Bay, and the Tom Redcam Library in Kingston.
The month will culminate with a Poster Competition Awards ceremony on October 31 at the St. James Methodist Church Hall in May Pen, Clarendon.