PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ENCOURAGED TO PRACTICE GOOD DENTAL HYGIENE THROUGH DENTAL QUIZ COMPETITION

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 13, 2016 (SKNIS): A Dental Quiz competition, which was organised by the Rotary Club of Liamigua and fully endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Education, was held last evening to teach primary school students best practices in oral hygiene.

Speaking at the event, held at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium, Carol Phillips, President of the Club, stated that several months ago a member of the 2016-217 board, Director Lee Daley, advised that there was a serious need for dental care at the primary school level. The Club then made contact with Dr. Randy Liburd, Chief Dental Officer and Dr. Retna Walwyn-Brown, Acting Director of the Community Health Division in the Ministry of Health.

“Our idea at the time was to assist the dental clinic by making appeals to dentists in private practice to volunteer their expertise to assist these primary school students who were seriously in need of dental care,” said Ms. Phillip. “We were updated by Dr. Liburd of a drive to reach out to all primary students.”

During discussions with Dr. Liburd and Dr. Brown, Dr. Liburd had the idea of the dental quiz for primary students in order to raise awareness of the need for proper dental care and proper dental hygiene.

Also speaking at the event, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, said that the aim of the Ministry of Health is to improve the general health of the people of the Federation. The Ministry therefore endorsed the event.

“At the Ministry, we explore all opportunities in so doing, and health education is one of the tools that we use,” said Dr. Laws. “We like to empower our people, young and old, with relevant information that will help them make health choices as they go through the different stages of the life cycle.”
Mrs. Laws stated that the Dental Department of the Ministry of Health designed the Dental Quiz Competition, among primary school children, to raise awareness and to highlight the importance of integrating good dental care habits into their daily routine.

Vincent Hodge, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, stated that the quiz was very important and that teachers were able to not only teach about dental hygiene but to influence attitudes and values and to create awareness.

The theme for this year’s Dental Quiz was “Gums plus Care Equal Smiles: Everyone Smiles in the Same Language.”

Out of the 15 schools which participated, the Tucker Clarke Primary School was victorious in the competition.

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