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Seal Cambodia project wins the 2016 FDI smile award

In September the Global Child Dental Fund’s and CamKid’s SEAL Cambodia project won one of the first FDI Smile Awards.

This prestigious Award recognizes National Dental Associations that are making a difference in oral health through innovative and sustainable community outreach projects in their country. The funding for the project was provided jointly by the Global Child Dental Fund (via a grant from Colgate Palmolive) and the charity CamKids.

The FDI award was presented to SEAL Cambodia and the Dental Association of Cambodia during a special ceremony on 6 September during the FDI General Assembly in Poznań, Poland.

SEAL Cambodia was launched in late 2012 in primary schools around Phnom Penh. This was due to great concerns about Cambodia having one of the highest rates of tooth decay in the world, with the average 6 year old having 9 decayed teeth.

The Global Child Dental Fund initiated the project with additional sponsorship from CamKids (the Cambodian Children’s Charity), Colgate Palmolive and the GC Asia Dental Company. The project brought together the Cambodian dental profession, international and local NGO’s, dental schools and the Ministries of Health and Education. Working together, the partners in this project have helped to transform the dental health of Cambodian children.

In 2016 SEAL Cambodia successfully completed its initial target of fissure sealing 60,000 children aged 6-8 in 3 years.

Through SEAL Cambodia, we have been able to begin to reach out to the children most in need in this country, giving them access to dental care as well as teaching them how to maintain their oral health for life. We have managed to create a sustainable program, turning away from extractions and focussing on promotion and prevention, and these healthy messages are filtering through local communities. Fissure sealing 60,000 children and beyond is reducing the number of childhoods disrupted by preventable toothache, giving children in Cambodia the best possible chance to thrive and develop.

We thank the staff on the ground that has worked tirelessly to ensure that this project has been running smoothly 24/7. We thank our sponsors and partners, without whom this achievement could not have been possible. There is no expiry date to this social movement for prevention. We will continue to find avenues to ensure the children of Cambodia will have some place to go to protect their teeth against decay. We will continue to seal a further 6,000 children within the course of the next year.