Our India Chapter was launched in 2014 and is co-Chaired by Professor Mahesh Verma, Director of the Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences New Delhi, and Professor S. G. Damle, Vice Chancellor of Maharishi Markandeshwar University Haryana. Since its launch, the Chapter has continued to work hard in its fight towards a cavity-free future.
Despite a 2nd year of obstacles posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, our India Chapter has been busy running two excellent initiatives, the ‘SOS-Save Our Smile Campaign’ as well as the ‘Comprehensive Oral Healthcare Program’. Both projects focus on providing quality promotive, preventative and curative dental services to marginalised and underserved communities.
The ‘SOS-Save Our Smile Campaign’ is an initiative by the Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences. The project seeks to improve oral health outcomes in orphans and abandoned children. The initiative is in collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages India, an established NGO which provides long-term support as well as a family, home-like environment for vulnerable children and adults up to the age of 24. The SOS-Save Our Smile initiative took place in the Bawana SOS village, New Delhi. As part of the ACFF India Chapter’s work to celebrate the 2021 World Cavity Free Future Day ‘Help us to help you keep cavity-free’, 3 oral health education sessions took place and in total 137 children and 13 caretakers were screened. 65 preventative and 55 restorative procedures took place and 18 older children were educated to be a designated ‘Dant-Rakshak’ (Oral Health Monitors) for their family cluster in the SOS Village. The initiative will continue to provide semi-annual oral health screening and treatment services, promoting the concept that ‘A family that brushes together, smiles together’.
The Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences has also been busy working on the ‘Comprehensive Oral Healthcare Program’. The Program’s focus is on improving the oral health of children who live in Child Care Institutions (CCIs) and was developed in collaboration with the Department of Women & Child Development, GNCT of Delhi. With the support of the ACFF India Chapter, the Institute has been able to support these children by providing quality oral healthcare services aligned with achieving a caries-free future. There are 26 Government-based and 76 NGO-based CCIs catering to a total of 3052 children who will all be covered under the ‘Comprehensive Oral Health Care Program’. Between September and December 2021, 8 Child Care Institutions were visited with 16 oral health education sessions taking place. To date, 193 children and 8 caretakers were screened with 256 preventative procedures and 182 curative dental treatments taking place.
A big thank you to our ACFF India Chapter Chairs, members, and collaborators for all their hard work.