Colgate is a household name that I grew up with. It simply means “toothpaste.” When it comes to dental health awareness, there is no doubt we can’t start young enough. Here is the latest on Colgate’s new mobile unit, which visited the Union Gardens Infant School recently. There’s a “cuteness alert” on the photos, by the way! (Provided by ProComm).
Kingston, Jamaica – April 25, 2016: Thousands of the island’s children are again set to benefit from top-quality dental care with the re-launch of Colgate’s Mobile Dental Unit, a critical component of Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures school program. The Unit was re-launched at a special event held at Union Gardens Infant School in Kingston on April 7, 2016.
Colgate’s programme is a global oral health initiative launched in Jamaica in 1969, in association with the Ministries of Health and Education and has evolved into one of the most successful oral health and awareness programs in the Caribbean.
Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile unit in Jamaica relies on the committed work of the Ministry of Health’s dental auxiliaries. Together, they have provided dental education, toothpaste, toothbrushes and oral care literature to approximately 150,000 children annually, aged 6 to 9 years, from all across Jamaica.
Sergio Pereira, Colgate-Palmolive General Manager of CARICOM, stressed the importance of the initiative: “The Mobile Dental Unit is critical to promoting good oral health practices and awareness,” Mr. Pereira said. “We, at Colgate, believe that early education and prevention is essential to widespread good oral health in Jamaica. The Mobile Dental Unit will help us to support the dental community in providing high quality oral care across the island.”
Mr. Pereira mentioned that Colgate has rolled out oral health initiatives in 80 countries, with more than 850 million children benefiting from these programs.
The Hon. Glen Christian, Chairman of Kirk Distributors, distribution partner for Colgate in Jamaica, expressed his pleasure at the re-launching of the initiative: “It is fitting that as Kirk Distributors celebrates its 10th anniversary, we are standing here alongside Colgate to re-launch this important initiative,” Mr. Christian said. “Colgate has endeared themselves to the Jamaican people in large part because of their commitment to educating Jamaicans on the importance of good oral health, from an early age.”
Dr. Irving McKenzie, Chief Dental Officer for Jamaica, gave his endorsement: “The Colgate Mobile Dental Unit is an essential part of the national oral health plan for children’s dental services,” Dr. McKenzie explained. “The Unit, and by extension Colgate’s overall oral health programme, has been pivotal in allowing us to target hard-to-reach communities and educate and serve the people of Jamaica in general. The benefits provided to the oral and dental services programmes have been immeasurable. The Mobile Dental Unit is an excellent example of a successful private sector/public sector partnership which Colgate has spearheaded.”
Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton commended Colgate for this initiative and for taking a very proactive and preventative approach to oral health education and treatment: “We at the Ministry are extremely grateful to the Colgate team for their efforts. We are pleased to see initiatives such as this where public and private sector entities can partner to encourage oral health prevention, so that going forward we do not always have to tackle the most extreme cases of dental issues, especially among children.”
Colgate works alongside the Ministries of Health and Education to identify beneficiary schools based on proximity to dental clinics and overall need for dental care. The Colgate Mobile Dental Unit will operate during the normal school year, from September to June, with breaks during the holiday period. Although the Dental Unit offers services primarily to children it also facilitates as best as possible, community-based groups and other professional organizations.