The Seal Cambodia project was formally launched on 6 July 2012 at a special event in Phnom Penh by Professor Raman Bedi (Chairman, Global Child Dental Fund and King’s College London), the project’s national coordinator Dr Callum Durward (Director, One-2-One Cambodia) and The Cambodian Children’s Charity – CamKids. The three year project will provide preventive care to 60,000 young children and will involve a large consortium of dental providers throughout the country. Professor Bedi said “We are excited about the programme which has brought together the Cambodian dental profession, international and local NGO’s, and the Ministries of Health and Education. Working together this project will transform the dental health of these children.”
With the approval and support of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS), local dental groups are working with the Global Child Dental Fund (GCDFund) and The Cambodian Children’s Charity – CamKids to introduce the SEAL CAMBODIA project. These local groups include the Oral Health Office of the MOH, the Faculties of Dentistry, the Dental Nurses School, two local NGOs (One-2-One Cambodia and Cambodia World Family), the Cambodian Dental Association, and the School Health Department of the MOEYS.
Over the past 3 years, the MOEYS together with the MOH, with support from Colgate, have conducted a dental preventive program in 115 Phnom Penh primary schools. The program has consisted of dental health education and tooth brushing in schools. The outcome has been positive, however the level of dental decay in children is still extremely high. The present project will add fissure sealants to the existing school preventive program. The sealants will be applied to 6-7 year old children by dentists, dental nurses and dental students on-site at primary schools. A dental company (GC Asia) has donated enough material to be able to seal the teeth of 60,000 children over 3 years. The GCDFund and The Cambodian Children’s Charity – CamKids, have also provided the necessary financial support. Initially the program will be carried out in Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham. This type of program (which has been carried out in other countries) will be hugely beneficial to Cambodian children, and will prevent the extraction of many thousands of permanent teeth.
To launch the SEAL CAMBODIA project, a workshop (sponsored by GC Asia) was held at the Goldiana Hotel on Saturday 8 July. In attendance were representatives from the organizations supporting the Seal Cambodia project (including the Executive Director of the Global Child Dental Fund – Professor Raman Bedi), distinguished overseas lecturers from Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and the UK, international delegates, as well as local dentists working for the MOH, MOEYS, the Dental Nurses School (in Kampong Cham), the two dental schools, hospitals and health centres, and local NGOs. On Monday 10 July a demonstration of the SEAL CAMBODIA project was held at Norodom Primary School.