New agreement will support oral health education and promote the concept of oral health as a human right
Washington, D.C., June 28, 2010 - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Colgate-Palmolive Company signed an agreement today to work together to promote oral health in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The new partnership will support PAHO's Caries Free Communities Initiative (CFCI), a community-based oral health promotion program that aims to reduce the burden of dental caries throughout the Americas, and particularly among the most vulnerable populations, by 2015.
PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses (left) and Dr.
Marsha Butler, Vice President of Colgate for Global Oral Care.
As part of CFCI, PAHO and Colgate will fund and host training workshops to educate and empower healthcare providers and community leaders on caries prevention. The initiative will also provide oral health education in schools through PAHO's resources and Colgate's flagship program, "Bright Smiles, Bright Futures," which aims to make children aware of the importance of good oral health. In addition, special workshops for teachers, care providers, and health policymakers will promote the concept of oral health as a fundamental human right.
The partnership will initially target underserved communities in Colombia and Ecuador.
"Oral health is one of PAHO's oldest programs, and Colgate has supported many of our school- and community-based initiatives in the past," said PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses. "This new agreement is an important public-private partnership that continues our longstanding relationship and reflects an awareness of the need to share responsibility for the most vulnerable populations."
"We have been working in the area of social responsibility and oral health education in the United States since 1911, and in Latin America since the 1970s," said Dr. Marsha Butler, Vice President of Colgate for Global Oral Care. "We welcome this new opportunity to continue our work in partnering with PAHO and its member countries."
"This agreement is a milestone that will allow us to open doors, showing partners that we can work together and getting the private sector to invest in health," said Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day, PAHO's Regional Advisor for Oral Health.
PAHO's Caries Free Communities Initiative aligns with the concept that "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition," as enshrined in the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO).
For more information on the Caries Free Communities Initiative, visit www.paho.org/oralhealth