Wednesday, 29 May

World Oral Health Day: Duala Medical Centre, 37 Military Hospital Dental Division engage schoolchildren in exhilarating education

Health News
Schoolchildren celebrating 2024 World Oral Health Day with Duala Medical Centre and Colgate

This year, the Duala Medical Centre at Burma Camp, Accra, celebrated World Oral Health Day with schoolchildren, supported by Colgate under the auspices of the General Headquarters Medical, Ghana Armed Forces, Burma Camp.

Class News’ Prince Benjamin (PB), Wednesday, March 20, 2024, spoke in exclusive interviews with the organisers and stakeholders.

Dr Ewura Adjoa Ahimah Nunoo, a senior medical officer in charge at the Duala Medical Centre, Burma Camp, spoke as the lead organiser of the programme.

She noted for the 2024 World Oral Health Day, “we decided to target the under-10s,” explaining why basic one to four pupils of five schools “Services Primary, Kotoka Primary, Garrison Primary, Burma Camp Primary and 37 Military Basic School” were the sole beneficiaries of the programme.

“There’s an increase in children reporting about broken teeth, broken jaws, laceration of the tongue and all that, because they play quite violently when they are interacting with each other in school. So we decided to give them the oral health education, today, based on that.

“And also to teach them how to brush their teeth effectively. We used this opportunity to demonstrate to them how to brush teeth properly,” she expatiated.

Dr Ahimah Nunoo expressed gratitude to Duala’s collaborators for the 2024 Oral Health Day school programme: 37 Military Hospital Dental Department and Colgate West Africa.

Educational flyers covering parental guide for brushing of teeth, healthy foods for teeth, and proper handwashing practices; soft bristle toothbrushes; and fluoride-based Colgate toothpastes were distributed to the eager schoolchildren who, also, joyously partook in a quiz to test their retention of the day’s lessons and to wrap up the programme.

The multiple award-winning medical doctor and health advocate, Dr Ewura Adjoa A. Nunoo, reminded children and adults alike not to abuse their teeth.

“We should not use them to do the wrong things: biting our nails, opening bottles; let’s exercise care with what we ingest orally. Smoking, alcohol, excessive intake of tea and coffee, all those things damage and discolour the teeth quite badly,” she cautioned.

The Global Women Leadership Summit & Honours 2022 Medical Media Personality of the Year highlighted the theme for this year’s programme: ‘A healthy happy mouth is a happy body’.

Damaged teeth and bad mouth odour, among other oral health concerns, she emphasised “affect everything” including one’s “social life” and confidence.

Thus, “let’s brush our teeth twice a day, let’s floss regularly, let us visit the dentist every six months or at least once a year, use mouthwash as well, avoid very sugary or sweetened foods – even if you do eat them, try and rinse your mouth, if you can’t immediately brush,” she advocated.  

Professional Relations & Bright Smiles Bright Future (BSBF) Manager (Colgate-Palmolive, West Africa) Dr Ogechukwu Macjohnson, excited about partnering with Duala Medical Centre, also underlined why interacting with the schoolchildren held much significance.

“It’s World Oral Health today. Usually, we go to schools and this year, we decided to partner with the Duala Medical Centre to do this with the schools within the military camp. So from January to December, Colgate goes from school to school educating children, but on this special day Duala Medical Centre invited us to join them to train the children.

“With children, it’s easy to teach them, especially the good habits, when you teach them early. So we teach them with the posters, leaflets we give them, and the mouth models to show them how to brush the teeth. We believe that a habit that a child learns early in life will be with them throughout life,” she said.

Information Officer, Department of Public Relations, Ghana Armed Forces, Sandra Naa Ayikailey Ashong commended the organisers of the engagement, stressing it necessity also.  

“It’s educative – an annual programme that is conducted every year to educate the kids for the sake of their oral health. We don’t only educate them on how to keep their teeth clean and intact but we also educate them about safety measures while playing. We tell them not to push their friends while playing because they could lose a tooth or more. I’m sure, children, because of chewing chicken and candies, they wouldn’t want to lose any tooth so we see this as an opportunity to let them in on what they don’t know.  

“Thumbs up to the organisers of this event. It’s a good cause. And I am grateful to all the stakeholders of this programme. We pray that they continue to do it so our children and students will get better knowledge in healthcare,” she said.

Source: Benjamin