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Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad Al Thani and Marios Tirkides during the signing ceremony yesterday. (Qassim Rahmatullah)
DOHA: Supreme Council of Health (SCH) yesterday introduced an international programme to help improve oral health habits among school students.
Colgate’s ‘Bright Smiles, Bright Futures’ a far-reaching children’s oral health initiative, was launched because dental caries and periodontal diseases are prevalent among schoolchildren and teenagers in Qatar.
The oral education campaign will start as a pilot project on March 1, at 30 independent schools. Over 6,000 students in grades two and three will participate in the eight-week programme. They will be provided with educational materials about oral health and encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day.
The participants will be evaluated in three years. Later the programme will be extended to all schools in Qatar.
Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of Public Health Department at SCH, and Marios Tirkides, Marketing Director, Colgate-Palmolive, Arabia and Gulf States, signed an agreement at the W Hotel, Doha.
“Dental caries and periodontal diseases are common among children in Qatar. The ‘Bright Smiles, Bright Futures’ programme will help students improve their oral health,” said Dr Abdullah Al Emadi, Consultant, Oral Health, SCH, on the sidelines of the signing ceremony. Statistics from the GCC epidemiological studies suggest that the prevalence of dental caries ranges between 80 and 90 percent among children.
SCH, together with World Health Organisation, has conducted a survey among 4,200 students. “The findings of the study will be released in April,” said Dr Al Emadi.