Unilever has announced a partnership with the World Dental Federation (FDI) to improve oral health in North Africa, Middle East and Turkey. Both organizations will assist National Dental Associations (NDAs) in these countries to education and spread awareness about the importance of oral health.
Unilever and FDI are calling the partnership Live. Learn. Laugh. The programs include school education programmes and demonstrations. "We are extremely excited to be putting funds towards national oral health care projects. Working with the FDI and
the individual NDAs in the countries, we will identify and launch oral health programmes that will make a sustainable difference towards improving oral health in the region," said Dr Analia Mendez, Global Professional Marketing Director at Unilever. In these countries, tooth decay or caries is on the rise, sugar consumption has jumped by 30 percent between 1991 and 2002 and "smoking and the consumption of smokeless tobacco called 'shammaah'" is very high. These result in the increase in rates of oral cancer as well. "This is a pioneering project for both the FDI and Unilever, exploring a new approach to oral health development and promotion. The FDI is committed to improving oral health at various levels," said Habib Benzian, FDI Development and Public Health Director. "Working for better public health is a complex task and requires interaction and collaboration with many different bodies. We are delighted that Unilever is partnering with us as it shares our vision, reach and willingness to make a difference to people's lives through improved oral health."