‘Oral Health Month 2003’ launched in Region Three By Mark Ramotar
Guyana Chronicle
November 3, 2003

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THE Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Colgate Palmolive Limited, launched ‘Oral Health Month 2003’ in grand style yesterday at the West Demerara Regional Hospital under the theme - ‘Its All About Your Healthy Mouth’.

Oral Health Month was first observed last year, and at yesterday’s event, the organisers promised to make next year’s observance much grander with the widest possible participation.

Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, in addressing yesterday’s launching ceremony, indicated that efforts will be made to have a proposal taken to Cabinet for approval so that the observance of Oral Health Month 2004 will be ‘formalised’.

Dr Ramsammy noted that the health sector takes up almost 8 per cent of the total Government expenditure. However, only a small portion of that sum goes to oral health. He promised that this trend will change in the future and that more resources will be allocated to this area.
A section of the audience at yesterday launching of Oral Health Month 2003 at the West Demerara Regional Hospital. (Picture by Quacy Sampson)
A section of the audience at yesterday launching of Oral Health Month 2003 at the West Demerara Regional Hospital. (Picture by Quacy Sampson)
“More money will have to be spent on oral and dental health, and in the new health plan, oral health will feature prominently,” Ramsammy promised. He also noted that one of the greatest contributors to morbidity is oral and dental health, something which many persons are not aware of.

“The Government, whilst it will continue to make greater effort and greater investment, cannot do it alone. We need partnerships,” Ramsammy said.

In this regard, the Minister commended Colgate Palmolive for its continued assistance and collaboration with the Health Ministry in a number of areas such as yesterday’s launch of Oral Health Month 2003.

Ramsammy also stressed that “good, healthy habits have to start at home” and that Oral Health Month is “not just oral health, but better health all around”.

In lauding the attendance of a number of schoolchildren at the event, Ramsammy described them as “agents of change”. Most of the children were from schools in Vreed-en-Hoop and West Demerara. Students of the Cheddi Jagan Dental School were also present.

“You, the young people, are the agents of change. We are just the facilitators,” the Minister Ramsammy told the schoolchildren and students.

Among the activities planned for Oral Health Month 2003 are the distribution of flyers and pamphlets on oral health, the distribution of dental kits to schools, the strategic placement of banners at various points around the country and the setting up of display booths in stores and business places around Georgetown. There will also be a display of oral health products at the Cheddi Jagan Dental School.

Permanent Secretary Ms. Sonia Roopnauth and Dr. Bheri Ransarran of the Health Ministry were among senior officials present. Members of the dental fraternity as well as Regional officials were among the audience.