The Dentist Magazine.

Charity raises smiles for Togolese school children

Published: 15/03/2017

Children at Akato Primary School in Togo, West Africa, have been given a huge reason to smile following a donation of educational materials by the Oral Health Foundation.

The oral health charity donated the resources as part of a care package which was delivered to the school, around eight kilometres outside of Togo’s capital, Lomé.

At an acceptance celebration at the school, children, teachers, village elders and His Highness Torgbui Agbeve Cyrille (local traditional ruler of Akato-Viepe) welcomed the donations with beaming smiles.

Speaking on the donation, Amanda Oakey, director of educational resources at the Oral Health Foundation, said: “To have the opportunity to bring smiles these children’s faces is amazing.

“We take many things for granted in the UK – like being able to access quality oral health educational materials – we often forget how hard it is for some areas around the world.

“We hope that, by providing the children with the tools they need to look after their own oral health and educating many more children, in the coming years we can really make a huge difference in this community.”

Oral health care in West Africa is a huge problem; it is not seen as a priority by some authorities and many are working with small budgets in over-populated areas. Many people are forced to travel for days to get oral healthcare which they desperately need.

Tooth decay is a gigantic problem globally, the World Health Organization estimate that five billion people worldwide suffer from tooth decay due to a lack of effective oral health provisions. 

The charity hopes that by providing the school with vital educational materials, the children will be better able look after their oral health throughout their lives and also pass on good habits to future generations.

Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, added, “As an organisation we are humbled to have opportunities such as this to give children who do not have as much opportunity as many of us do in the UK a helping hand.

“At the Oral Health Foundation, we have an ongoing commitment to help bring smiles to millions of people around the world and, through vital work like this and the expanding reach National Smile Month, we are continuing to make a difference.”