Education Is the Powerful Weapon

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Notes from Provincial Meeting with Colgate-Palmolive re-Partnership for Oral Health Education: 19 May 2011: Natalia, Pietermaritzburg.

1. Welcome: Dr Zungu welcomed the representatives from Colgate – Palmolive and from National Department of Health: Oral Health Programme. The Head of Department acknowledged the work previously done by Colgate – Palmolive in the school based brushing program. Dr Zungu stated that the Province and the Department would benefit from this health promotion and prevention of dental carries programme, as part of re-engineering of PHC. Dr Zungu acknowledged the oral hygienists attending the meeting as leaders in oral health, especially promotion and prevention.

2. Present and Apologies
Oral hygienists from each District, except Umzinyathi (where there are no Oral Hygienists), were present. Umzinyathi was represented by the Oral Health Programme coordinator.

3. PHC and Oral Health
Ms Dalton restated the partnership as being part of health promotion and that oral health is an important component of PHC. The oral hygienists should be the leaders in enrolling the schools onto the programme, and re-enforcing messages through partnership with School Health Nurses, Dieticians and nutritional advisors, PHC Nurses and Department of Education. The initiative should be a District wide, and a District managed initiative.

4. Presentation by Ms Rowel from Colgate-Palmolive
The project was outlined.
Purpose: To establish oral health education in as many schools in KZN as possible within the funds available. Process:
a) Each Health District in Partnership with Department of Education should identify schools, and introduce the education programme. b) A registration form with the details of school is required to be sent to Colgate – Palmolive. c) The required number of Oral Health Education School Kits will be sent to the school. d) The teachers will be given some training on the use of kits, lesson plans, etc. Target: Grade One pupil only, there are insufficient funds to extend at this time. Sustainability: The programme / project can only be sustained in partnership with the two Departments. Health Department will need to supplement toothpaste and brushes – as Colgate / Palmolive only provided the start up consumables.

• Number of schools with brushing programmes (already on DHIS) • Number of children exposed to Oral Health Education.

Project outcomes
• Project should be a strategy to introduce and identify children for fissure sealants. • Reduction in dental carries
• Reduction in tooth extractions in schools children.

5. Discussion

|Item |Decision |Action by whom | |5.1. Provincial target schools |Target the “Full service Schools” and |Dalton to write to District to inform| |Not all schools can be reached. Discussion was around whether to target the “Full |Quintile One schools. |them of the project, targets etc. | |service Schools” and Quintile One schools, or target the largest schools to enroll the| | | |maximum number of children; especially as some of the Quintile One schools are small | | | |schools. Another suggestion was Health Promoting schools, however Oral Health is | | | |already part of the criteria used. | | | |5.2. Project Leaders...
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