East Meets West (EMW) foundation has launched a two-year pilot project, financed by a $399,500 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities, to train school health staff and improve oral health among school children.
The “Community Oral Health Care” (COHC) project, to be carried out in 2014 and 2015, is aimed to train 250 health staff in northern and central Vietnam, so that they can help thousands of students under eight prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems.
Accordingly, 150 health staff from schools in Da Nang City and central provinces of Quang Tri, Quang Binh, and Quang Nam, and 100 others in northern provinces of Hai Duong and Phu Tho will undergo trainings on dental care and oral hygiene.
EMW is working with the Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy and the Institute of Odonto-Stomatology at Hanoi Medical University to develop and deliver a high-quality training curriculum that is appropriate for school health staff.
The trainings will focus on such topics as anatomy of teeth (primary and permanent), basic knowledge on oral diseases and preventive care, dental health education, infection control methods, and goals of a school dental program, it said.
“In many disadvantaged communities in Vietnam, young children with oral health problems such as cavities or mouth pain cannot concentrate in class. Left untreated, these problems may lead to absenteeism and also serious health conditions such as malnutrition,” Tran Minh Huong, National Coordinator for the Dental Program at East Meets West, said at the project launching ceremony in Da Nang on Monday.
Also at the ceremony, EMW signed partnership agreements with local partners including the Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy, the departments of Education and Training of Da Nang, Quang Tri and Quang Binh, and the District People’s Committees of Dien Ban, Dai Loc, Duy Xuyen, Hoi An, Que Son, and Tam Ky in Quang Nam Province.
Since 1996, EMW’s Dental Program has assisted over 140,000 poor and disadvantaged children in Vietnam with free dental services.