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Pacific Network

The Pacific Network is a collaborative legacy project which grew out of discussion with delegates at our Senior Dental Leaders 6 conference in 2012.

We will be working with local partners to bring back smiles to vulnerable children.

Access to timely and appropriate dental care is extremely limited in these countries. And as with other countries in the Pacific region, they are experiencing a fundamental transition in their national diet patterns. Moving from locally produced products to imported foods and beverages high in sugar and calories.

80% of children ages 3-5 years in Fiji experience dental caries, and most require general anesthesia. Incredibly, in the capital city of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, there is only one dental facility serving 75,000 people.

Betel Nut is the fourth most widely used addictive substance in the world, consumed by 10% of the world’s population. It is readily available to children at a very early age in these countries.

Our work in these countries will effect significant improvements for the oral health of vulnerable children, particularly those with special care needs and children in remote areas. Our objectives will be pursued through the following activities:

  • Developing a national school-based oral health curriculum will be created to focus on betel nut and tobacco smoking prevention.
  • Training the local dental and primary care workforce.
  • instilling into the next generation of dental professionals a sense of social responsibility.
  • integrating oral health car into primary care through Maternal and Child health clinics.
  • Providing fluoridated toothpaste, tooth brushes, and oral hygiene education among children.