July 18, 2024

Bicol Express News

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1,300 children in Sorsogon Province benefit from the latest Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program

Children engaging in an interactive tooth brushing activity.

SORSOGON CITY, Philippines – Colgate, the leading oral health brand in the Philippines, continues to empower the nation with the confidence to smile through its Bright Smiles Bright Futures (BSBF)® program, a global initiative dedicated to protecting children’s oral health.

According to the National Survey on Oral Health of the Department of Health, 83% of children aged 5-12 years old continue to suffer from the silent health crisis brought about by cavities. Cavities are the leading cause of absenteeism in schools, hugely affecting a child’s opportunity to learn. Colgate is driving its commitment to a zero-cavity future by strengthening its partnership with local government entities as well as the Department of Education in order to combat the alarming rate at which children are losing their smiles.

“The BSBF program is making strides towards our goal of ending cavities among children, especially here in the Philippines. In 2015, only 6 out of 10 children received basic oral health services from the government, but our collective effort changed this. Today, 100% of children (ages 1-4) in Sorsogon have benefited from the government’s spending on cavity prevention programs, and received supplemental oral health package from BSBF. The close collaboration between Colgate and Sorsogon Province is a testament to how we can drive towards a zero-cavity future” said BSBF and Public Health Manager Diomar Escat.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Jun Bolo, Dr. Harold de Chavez, with Mr. Diomar Escat, Dr. Lloyd Denia, Ms. Catherine Sy Limlingan, Ms. Janine Noblezada, and Mr. Kenn Penero of Colgate-Palmolive PH.

The BSBF program in the Philippines has helped 40 million children over the course of 25 years. Since 1997, Colgate has reached 37,000 public schools and 700 daycare centers in 319 cities and municipalities. Activities conducted include tooth brushing events, fluoride varnish application, and information sharing sessions on good oral health practices.

Bringing Bright Smiles and Bright Futures® to Sorsogon

In line with their commitment to improving the oral health of the Philippines, more than 1,300 children from Sorsogon Province took part in the BSBF community program last September 8, 2023. Elementary school students in the province’s various municipalities and children between the ages of 3-5 received an application of fluoride varnish and participated in a toothbrushing education session at the Balogo Sports Complex. A similar activity was also conducted at Casiguran Central School.

“The Sorsogon Provincial Health Office has always been committed to materializing its mission to provide quality, effective, efficient healthcare services to every Sorsoganon,” said Sorsogon Province Provincial Health Officer Dr. Jun Bolo. Since 2015, the province and Colgate’s BSBF program have worked closely together to significantly improve the rate of having more Orally Fit Children in Sorsogon (12-59 mos) which is now at 80% in 2022, from 12% in 2015, according to FHSIS (Field Health Service Information System) reports.

To emphasize and strengthen community participation for this shared mission, the children, along with their parents, teachers, and local officials were also provided with an oral health education session that focused on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and the role of adults in instilling these healthy practices among kids.

Children attending the BSBF event held at Casiguran Central School.

“Ang bawat ngiti ng isang bata ay isang ngiti na magbibigay sa ating lahat ng pag-asa na balang araw ay isang magandang kinabukasan ay sa atin ay nakalaan. Kasama sa pagtataguyod ng oral health sa probinsya ay ang responsibilidad ng bawat miyembro ng pamilya na maihatid ang tamang impormasyon at maituro ang tamang pamamaraan. Ang pag-to-toothbrush should not be an imposition, it should be a way of life,” Dr. Bolo added.

Colgate’s mascot, Dr. Rabbit, and a puppet show all helped create a lively atmosphere for the kids throughout the day. Participants also got a sneak peek at Colgate’s newest commercial, The Missing Smile, which raises awareness of the silent health crisis caused by cavities and its alarming impact on children’s attendance as well as performance in school. Likewise, the film inspires parents and adults to take an active role in preventing this silent health crisis.

Meanwhile, Casiguran Mayor Minez Hamor expressed her commitment to the health and welfare of the children in their municipality. Accordingly, the local government unit and the rural health unit will continue to offer free fluoride applications and toothbrushes, which will help safeguard children’s bright smiles and bright futures.

Colgate’s BSBF program continues to forge meaningful partnerships and further oral health education with schools and local government units across the country. Escat shared that the company aims to achieve more than double the number of Filipino children reached by in-school and community programs – from 2.7 million this year to 5.9 million in 2024. A step towards Colgate’s commitment of a cavity-free Philippines.

Cavities have been an underlying problem in the overall health of Filipino children. See how Colgate pushes for the end of this silent health crisis to bring the missing smiles back to school through its latest TV commercial, as shown in the recent event in Sorsogon Province through this link.