In a global first, Colgate has partnered with C3 Collaborating for Health (C3), the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation (CNMF), and the World Continuing Education Alliance (WCEA) to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and elevate the need for oral health education
for nurses and midwives in practice.
The initiative is part of Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Program and will combine an online survey with the development of an online continuing professional development module on oral health. The initial target countries will be Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.
The World Health Assembly at its 74th session in 2021, approved a resolution on oral health1 which recommends a shift from the traditional curative approach toward a preventive approach. This would see oral health promotion and prevention interventions included in universal health coverage programs, such as the promotion of oral health within the family, schools and workplaces, as well as integration into primary health care.
Oral health is essential for overall health, well-being and quality of life. It is estimated that oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people with untreated dental caries being the most common health condition (Global Burden of Diseases 2019).2 Most oral health conditions are largely preventable. Oral diseases disproportionally affect the poor and socially disadvantaged members of society.
The unequal distribution of oral health professionals and a lack of appropriate health facilities means that access to primary oral health services is often low. Treatment for oral health conditions is expensive and usually not part of universal health coverage and out-of-pocket costs for oral health care can be a major barrier to accessing care.
Nurses and midwives are in a unique position to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and provide oral health education to individuals, families and communities. Implementing preventive measures early will alleviate individual pain, discomfort and disfigurement and reduce the economic burden of oral diseases on individuals and the health system.
The transition to an increased focus on oral health promotion and disease prevention will have three major areas: enhancing oral health education in initial nursing and midwifery education; providing an online CPD module on oral health, and the inclusion of oral health into a client or patient assessment forms and care plans. The partners, Colgate, C3, CNMF and WCEA are excited to have this opportunity and are confident the project will bring about lasting and sustainable change which can be replicated in other countries. For further information contact one of the partners.
Colgate-Palmolive is a caring, innovative growth company that is reimagining a healthier future for all. Since 1991, the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® Program has reached more than 1.4 billion school children in over 80 countries to teach them about oral health care.
C3 Collaborating for Health (C3): contact Christine Hancock [email protected]
C3 is a global charity which brings together diverse and often unusual partners to address noncommunicable diseases’ leading risk factors by promoting three behaviour changes: improving what we eat and drink; stopping smoking, and increasing physical activity.
Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation (CNMF): contact Jill Iliffe [email protected]
The CNMF is a federation of national nursing and midwifery professional and industrial organisations in Commonwealth countries, providing information, networking, leadership and in-country
World Continuing Education Alliance (WCEA): contact Craig Fitzpatrick [email protected]
WCEA is a social impact technology company focused on building capacity in the training of healthcare professionals in low- and middle-income countries through sustainable technology solutions. WCEA aims to ensure HCPs have easy access to education and information to deliver optimum patient cares and improve health outcomes.