The Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that less than 20 per cent of the population of Nigeria, estimated at 34 million, have access to oral care services in the country.
The minister stated this at the 6th edition of the National Oral Health Week, which held in Abuja recently, a statement said.
To this end, Adewole disclosed that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Unilever to promote oral hygiene in the country.
He said, “Fewer than 20 per cent of Nigerians have access to oral care services and most of these services focus on curative rather than preventive care, which might represent more effective tool for meeting the oral care needs of the population.”
Adewole also commended Unilever for accepting to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to promote the oral hygiene among 10 million Nigerian schoolchildren by providing educational materials and product facilities through the Pepsodent Oral Health Schools’ Programme.
Speaking about the partnership, the Brand Manager, Pepsodent, Unilever Nigeria Plc, George Umoh, noted that the company was committed to “improving the lives of 10 million Nigerian children by the year 2020. To this regard, we have signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigerian Dental Association and other stakeholders to promote oral hygiene and education and the habit of brushing twice daily (Morning and Night), which is a global best practice to prevent the prevalence of dental and other oral health diseases in Nigeria.”
Umoh added that since the Pepsodent Oral Health Schools Programme was inaugurated in 2014, it had provided oral care to 2.5 million schoolchildren in over 3,500 public primary schools.