Delivered by Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, Social Services, Gender Affairs & Community Development

Hon Wendy Colleen Phipps

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fellow Citizens & Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis:

I take this opportunity to greet you as our Nation celebrates Dental Health Week 2015 under the theme “Let’s Be Seen with Good Oral Hygiene”. Dental Health Week 2015 celebrations cover the period Monday, October 24 to Friday, October 30, 2015. Co-ordinator of the various activities that are being observed during the week is The Dental Unit in the Ministry of Health. The Ministry commends the entire staff complement of The Dental Unit, especially our dentists and dental assistants who consistently render affordable and quality service to the public at Charlestown and Gingerland Health Centres in Nevis, and at Newtown Health Centre and Pogson Medical Centre in

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St. Kitts. The Ministries of Health on both islands also extend best wishes to all dental health practitioners operating in the private sector.

The calendar of events marking Dental Health Week 2015 is as follows:

Ø Sunday, October 25th – Church Service held at Cayon Church of God

ØMonday, October 26th Thursday, October 29th – Media Presentations on ZIZ, WINN FM, Kyss FM, Freedom FM and SKNIS

ØFriday, October 30th – Dental Seminar at New Horizons Rehabilitation Centre

A number of pre-activities have already been held, including an Oral Health seminar that was conducted for the Special Olympics, in collaboration with the International University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Events are also being planned for the month of November, to continue sensitizing the public on the importance of having good dental health and hygiene habits. These post-activities include a dental health workshop that is intended to produce an Action and Implementation Plan for an Oral Health Survey.

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In all of the planned activities marking Dental Health Week 2015 The Dental Unit has decided to reinforce the components of good oral hygiene maintenance, which are inclusive of the following:

Ø Brushing the teeth after each meal
Ø Flossing twice daily (morning and evening)
Ø Rinsing with antimicrobial mouthwash
Ø Visiting the dentist every six (6) months for a check-up

These positive oral health and hygiene practices are all intended to ensure that good oral health is achieved by all citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis. Such practices will also help to make it possible for us to keep our teeth for life.

It should be noted, that although dental hygiene may be a given for most persons, it is definitely an important facet of overall health maintenance for every individual. Reason: there is growing scientific evidence to support the belief that 90% of whole body illnesses could show the first signs in the mouth – including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke which are classified as Non-communicable Diseases (or NCDs) that happen to be the leading causes of death in St. Kitts and Nevis and the rest of the CARICOM Member States.

The success of our Nation’s celebration of Dental Health Week 2015 would not have been possible without the continued, unwavering support of Ram’s Trading Ltd. Ram’s, as authorized agents for

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Colgate, has partnered consistently over the years with The Dental Unit in the celebration and promotion of good oral hygiene practices. For this year’s sponsorship of Dental Week 2015 commendations are in order for Ram’s Trading Ltd., for the company’s generous provision of the following items:

  •  Dental Education Materials (posters, leaflets, books, DVDs, stickers, etc.)
  •  Colgate Banner for Dental Health Week 2015
  •  Children’s Toothbrush & Toothpaste Combo Packs
  •  Sample/ Travel Size Listerine
  •  Dental Floss
  •  Polo Shirts with the Colgate Logo
  •  Dental Scrubs with the Colgate Logo

The Ministries of Health on both St. Kitts and Nevis wish to use this opportunity to sincerely thank Ram’s Trading Ltd – and their principal, Colgate – for their provision of these promotional and educational materials that are meant to encourage the consistent practice of good oral hygiene by both children and adults. The Federal Government regards the company’s sponsorship of Dental Week 2015 as yet another demonstration of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) track record of Ram’s Trading Ltd. throughout the company’s history.

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As the Federation continues its various observances of Dental Health Week 2015, the Ministries of Health of St. Kitts and Nevis take this opportunity to encourage our citizens and residents alike to adopt and – in other cases – maintain good oral health and hygiene practices as an integral part of overall health maintenance. We should be mindful at all times that “A Health Mouth = A Healthy Body = A Healthy Nation”. Our Nation’s greatest resource is its people, and the best way of honouring and preserving that resource is by being grateful to God for the bodies He has given us, and doing everything in our power to take care of our bodies – since we are only allotted one per customer. Let us observe good dental health practices every day of our lives, being cognizant of the fact that when we take care of our bodies, our bodies will serve us longer.

May God bless us in St. Kitts and Nevis as we continue on the path of positive and sustainable national development, starting with the overall health and wellness of our people.

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