YWAM Medical Ships Australia & Papua New Guinea (YWAM MS) and Colgate-Palmolive (PNG) Ltd are pleased to announce they are joining forces to help improve oral health services for children in Port Moresby.
Colgate-Palmolive, a global leader in oral care, will work with YWAM MS to provide dental treatment and education to schools across Port Moresby via the YWAM Dental Trailer.
The 13-metre-long semi-trailer is equipped with three dental chairs, a generator, water storage, and sterilisation facilities. The trailer was invited to begin its work in Port Moresby by the Governor for NCD, Honourable Powes Parkop.
The joint initiative will combine the experience of YWAM MS in delivering mobile dental services with Colgate-Palmolive’s commitment to provide funds, Colgate toothpaste and toothbrushes, education materials, and employment for local dental professionals.
YWAM MS Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan, said he is pleased to be working with Colgate-Palmolive on the project.
“It is great to be working together on a shared goal we are both very committed to.
“We have visited four schools with the trailer now – and have found that over 80% of children have tooth decay. The collaboration with Colgate-Palmolive will help us expand and improve the program – helping to provide much-needed treatment and education to more children.
“Colgate-Palmolive’s commitment to provide employment is also helping to meet a gap for local dental professionals who have struggled to find work,” said Mr Mulligan.
Colgate-Palmolive’s General Manager, Mr John Wood, said “we are passionate about helping our people in PNG. In particular, this partnership will enhance our Oral Care school educational program ‘Bright Smiles, Bright Futures’ which from its inception in 2010 has educated over 2.5 million children in PNG. We are committed to a long sustainable partnership with YWAM MS that jointly will bring smiles to many children and their families,”
Other key collaborators on the project include NCDC, NCD Provincial Health Authority, and NCD Education Services Department of Education. A four-way MoU between the entities and YWAM MS was signed in May.
The YWAM Dental Trailer is currently parked at a primary school in Port Moresby. Dental professionals and passionate young volunteers from nine different nations have been providing dental treatment and education to students for the past 3 weeks.
To date, YWAM MS has provided over 2,000 dental procedures and oral health education to over 3,900 students in Port Moresby.