World Oral Health Day Activity a Success. Seniors make use of free dental check-up


GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) department Collective Prevention Services (CPS), says the World Oral Health Day held on March 20 was a success.

32 senior citizens made use of the free dental check-up that was provided and were able to get additional information from specialist on site.

The activity was for seniors 60 and over.  It took place at the Ministry of Public Health, Vineyard Building Office Park from 4.00pm to 6.30pm.

CPS started one month ahead of World Oral Health Day with a Poster Competition in the country’s high schools.

Out of the eight schools, four participated. Winners are Learning Unlimited with first place (Michele Mardorf & Harsha Parchani), second place was St. Maarten Academy academic (Armani France) and third place Learning Unlimited (Jade Durand).

In the morning of World Oral Health Day Friday, March 20th apples and water were delivered to all second grades.

The activity was formally opened by Drs. Joy Arnell, Acting Secretary General of Ministry VSA, who complimented CPS for choosing the country’s seniors as a target group to pay special attention to for this commemoration event.

The outreach with the senior citizen went well, dentist Hilda Guevara donated her time and attended to 32 senior citizens.  Guevara received an award of appreciation from Dr. Virginia Asin, Department Head of CPS, for volunteering for this activity.

Dr. Guevara has been with the Mobile Dental Program since 2009 up until 2013, and is still a very willing partner in community projects.

Nutrition information was given by nutritionist Swinda Richardson and oral hygiene information by Irma Knight.

The Oral Health Team was under the leadership of Irma Knight, Youth Dental Program Coordinator, and included Swinda Richardson, Elcita Atkins, Shardina Blomont, Irene Serfilia, and Lionel Fransisca.

The activity was organized in connection with World Oral Health Day which is celebrated annually on March 20.  It is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of looking after oral hygiene to everyone old and young.

90 per cent of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime.  The theme for 2015 was ‘Smile for life!” and has a double meaning: ‘lifelong smile’ and ‘celebrating life’.

For more information on Oral Health Care, you can reach CPS at 542-3003 or 542-2078.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Ministry VSA staff who assisted with the successful World Oral Health Day on March 20 that catered to senior citizens. (DCOMM Photo)