Thursday, March 10, 2016

GPM brings Humble Smiles and oral hygiene to underserved children in India

Hundreds of vulnerable children in communities around India received oral hygiene education for the first time in their lives through a new initiative of Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM) and Humble Smile Foundation. During an initial four-month pilot Oral Health Education  program, GPM and Humble Smile worked with 600 children –  500 from 20 rural villages and 100 children from urban slums – and provided training for 24 teachers using the education curriculum developed by Humble Smile.

Dental diseases, such as tooth decay, gum diseases, malocclusion of teeth and oral cancers, are major health problems for Indian children. In addition to physiological risks, these diseases can cause intense pain and psychological stress that prevent children from learning properly in school. However, research shows that these problems can be prevented and controlled to a large extent by public education towards fostering good habits.

Dr. Darren Weiss, dentist and President of Humble Smiles Foundation, conducted an initial survey of Indian children and found extreme problems among the children in the slums. Many children he found had completely rotting and falling-out teeth due to lack of basic oral care. Humble Smile Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Humble Brush Company, donates environment-friendly toothbrushes to children in the developing world, along with a uniquely developed curriculum aimed at changing children's habits. The approach, developed by Dr. Weiss and his team, is interactive and hands-on, making sure that the children practice their new skills every day in order to change long term habits and behavior.

"The children in [the village of] Shirsonpada have never used a toothbrush," said Sandip Bhoye, GPM Love2Learn teacher in Sukhadaba Shirsonpada. "They were so excited with this new Hmble Smile Oral Health Program that they wanted to take their toothbrushes home so that they can brush their teeth before going to bed as well as at school before eating their lunch. This program is really needed in this area."

"Through the Humble Smile pilot project, the children in our Love2Learn education program, have been given tools for changing the way they care for their teeth," said GPM Director Jacob Sztokman. "These are things that children in the west take for granted – such as brushing teeth regularly with a toothbrush and toothpaste. It is such a simple way to change the children's lives for the better."

Plans are now underway for expanding the pilot. For more information, or to sponsor this project, contact GPM.

Darren Weiss, President of Humble Smile Foundation and a dentist talking about oral health in a REAP class in a Mumbai slum

A Love2Learn class in the village of Raipur brushing their teeth after lunch

Oral Health raining in the slums
Bendgaon village. 'Its cool to brush!'

The Love2Learn class in Bendgaon village

Teacher Kalpana with her class in the village of Chalni

1 comment:

  1. Great Post, Oral Hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent dental problems.
    Oral Hygiene Mumbai