Sunstar Foundation Donates 120,000 Toothbrushes to Cape Verde

11 December 2012

In collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Sunstar Foundation donated 120,000 toothbrushes to the Cape Verde government on December 11th, 2012. The goal of this donation was to improve oral health of the children of Cape Verde and consequently their quality of life.

Sunstar Foundation Director Mayumi Kaneda attended the official ceremony, which was led by Dr. Cristina Fontes Lima, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, at the Dépôt de Médicaments (national medicine warehouse) in central Cape Verde.

This event was particularly significant as dental decay is found in 70% of the Cape Verde population. Therefore, promoting and maintaining oral health is a key to better quality of life. The 120,000 donated toothbrushes will be used in a nation-wide oral health support program that is to be launched by the Ministry of Education in 2013.

After the hand-over of the toothbrushes, students from Nova Assembeia school sang songs expressing their gratitude for the donation.

Here is the article of this donation published by the Ministry of Health of Cape Verde.
Click on the image below to view the news report of this event.

English translation of this article:
120,000 toothbrushes, donations offered by the Japanese foundation SUNSTAR Praia, 11/12/12:

In the setting of partnership between the World Health Organization and Sunstar, a foundation which promotes oral health, Madame Mayumi Kaneda, Director of the Foundation, accompanied by the WHO representative Dr. Barrysson Andriamahefazafy, the official donation ceremony of 120,000 toothbrushes for the Cape Verde government took place today.

This symbolic hand-over ceremony was led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Dr. Cristina Fontes Lima, aiming to aid the Cape Verdean children to improve their oral health and therefore their quality of life. We expect that this action will contribute greatly to implement a nation-wide oral health support program that the Ministry of Health is planning to launch in 2013. The program will also involve the Ministry of Education and the FICASE (Cape Verdean Foundation of School Health) in partnership with the Luxembourger Cooperation and the World Health Organization.

During the official ceremony, which took place at the Medicine Depot, the Minister declared that this supply of toothbrushes is more than a symbolic offer: given the links between HIV/AIDS and certain oral manifestations, and the recently available data indicating the existence of 70% of dental decay in Cape Verde. Dr. Cristina F. Lima also spoke on the importance of self-esteem, so that the children can grow up in good health. She said it is about an opportunity to work with partners (the WHO, the Luxembourger Cooperation and Sunstar) also at the research and education levels, to reorient the Office and to reinforce oral health prevention and promotion.

A symbolic hand-over ceremony of the toothbrushes was given short time later by the Minister of Education and Sports, Dr. Fernanda Marques, to the students of “Nova Assembeia” school, and the children sang some songs delivering messages of gratitude for this important contribution.

The Minister of Education spoke of the importance of reinforcing oral health in schools and on the partnership for implementing this project. It was also the occasion for Luxembourger Cooperation representative Madame Celeste Momteiro to launch a microcredit to support oral health.

During her stay of around three days in Cape Verde, the Director of Sunstar, accompanied by Dr. Teresa Morais, Coordinator of the health education program, and the WHO representative Dr. Barrysson Andriamahefazafy, and the FICASE technicians, has visited kindergartens on the island of Santiago as well as the Tarrafal Health Center, where a strategic plan for oral health in Cape Verde had been presented by Stomatologist Dr. Mario Luis Mendes.

The Sunstar Foundation for the promotion of oral health, created in 1977, aims to improve oral hygiene in the general population. For more than three decades, the Foundation has actively promoted oral health though different types of activities in different countries. We know that oral health is very important in people’s lives. There are a lot of people who do not go to the dentist until the symptoms appear. As a result, dental problems that can be treated with low fees and in little time worsen. In addition, recent studies indicate a link between dental problems and systemic diseases. Thus, managing oral health is of a growing concern.

Carrying out a wide range of dental care activities can help achieve oral health and improve quality of life.