October is Oral Health Month with a Unique Rural Thrust
October 11, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health NewsMumbai, - Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited, the market leader in oral care, today announced that October 2007 will be observed as Oral Health Month (www.oralhealthmonth.co.in), an intensive month-long oral health awareness campaign that establishes and promotes the importance of good oral health habits for all ages. Now in its fourth year, the event conducted in association with the Indian Dental Association (IDA), has become a leading campaign for establishing and promoting improved oral health habits in India. ‘Mission Towards Zero Tooth Decay’ is the theme of the Oral Health Month 2007 (OHM 2007). Over 8,000 dentists are expected to participate in OHM 2007.
A Colgate Usage and Attitude survey shows that more than 20% of India’s population still does not use any kind of modern dentifrice. While urban consumers appreciate that teeth health depends on one’s brushing habits, a high proportion of rural consumers consider ‘being born with bad teeth’ as the most important reason for dental problems. This is perhaps reflected in usage habits – while over 90% of the urban consumers use dentifrice products, over a third of rural consumers still use non-dentifrice products. As much as 53% of the urban population is not at all concerned about tooth cavities and almost three fifths of the urban population do not visit the dentist. Through concentrated efforts during the Oral Health Month, the activities will empower people with the right knowledge so that they are motivated to give oral health adequate attention.
In order to broaden coverage and build awareness, Oral Health Month 2007 has expanded its reach to cover 175 cities and 250 rural villages across 19 states all over the country. This is up significantly from 102 cities covered in 2006.
Announcing Oral Health Month 2007, Mr. Roger D Calmeyer, Managing Director, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited said, “Creating awareness about oral hygiene not only in urban but also in rural areas is the main thrust in this year’s Oral Health Month. We are leveraging the several learnings from previous editions of Oral Health Month to create a more intensive and wider campaign than before. We are grateful for the support from the dental profession, especially in giving their time and services to conduct free dental check ups.”
The outreach events of Oral Health Month 2007 will include free public dental check-ups in city clinics. They will cover over 16 factories in Baddi, one of India’s largest SEZs and also conduct camps at other corporate centers. Colgate will also be conducting a series of school activities teaching children the right way to brush, giving free dental health packs with tips for maintaining good oral hygiene thereby inculcating good oral habits in the children.
OHM 2007 will also reach a further 250 rural villages through a special 3-tier rural initiative that will cover 180 villages with populations of below 20,000 (through ITC’s e-choupals in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) 42 villages with populations of 30,000 to 100,000 in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh and over 25 small villages around Mumbai with the support of the Rotary Club. These villages will benefit from free dental check ups, awareness building activities and brushing activities in schools.
In Pursuit of a World Record
Oral Health Month 2007 will witness an attempt to break a Guinness World Record™ with its unique Brush Up Challenge. Students from over 300 schools across 23 cities will participate in a simultaneous brushing activity to achieve this goal. The present world record for the maximum number of people brushing simultaneously across multiple locations is 41,038 held by the Philippines. Dentists present at the centers will provide guidance to these students on the correct way to brush teeth.
Pledging Support for a Special Cause
India is believed to have one of the highest incidences of oral cancer in the world (Ref.1). Oral cancer constitutes 12% of all cancers in men and 8% of all cancers among women. (Ref.2). Colgate is partnering the Cancer Patients’ Aid Association (CPAA) to support the treatment of oral cancer patients In a unique awareness building and support mobilizing effort, Colgate is seeking pledges across touchpoints of OHM 2007, giving people an opportunity to commit their support for the treatment of the patients whose treatment Colgate is supporting while becoming more aware of the problem of oral cancer in India.
About the Indian Dental Association
The Indian Dental Association, formed in 1946 is the largest recognised body of dental professionals in India, which has helped shape the National Oral Health Policy. Working towards the promotion, encouragement and advancement of dental and allied sciences the IDA has a national presence with 27 state branches and over 185 local branches spread across India. It has a combined strength of around 15,000 dentists and student members registered with it.
About Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited
Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited is India’s leading provider of scientifically proven oral care products with multiple benefits at various price points. The range includes toothpastes, toothpowder and toothbrushes under the “Colgate” brand, as well as a specialised range of dental therapies under the banner of Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals. These have become an essential part of daily oral hygiene and therapeutic oral care in India. The Company also provides a range of personal care products under the ‘Palmolive’ brand name. Colgate has been ranked as India’s Most Trusted Brand across all categories for four consecutive years from 2003 to 2007 by Brand Equity’s Most Trusted Brand Survey. Prior to this, Colgate was also rated as the #1 brand by the A&M – MODE Annual Survey for India’s Top Brands for eight out of nine years during the period 1992 to 2001. For more information about Colgate’s business and products, visit the Company’s website on the internet at www.colgate.co.in. You can also visit the Oral Health Month website at: www.oralhealthmonth.co.in.
(Ref 1) — Hamada G.S.et al: Comparative epidemiology of oral cancer in Brazil & India. Tokai J Exp. Clin. Med. 1991 Mar. 16(1)63-72
(Ref 2) — Sankaranarayanan R.:Oral cancer in India: An epidemiologic and clinical review. Oral Sirg. Oral Med. Oral Path.69:325-330,1990