The leading global toothpaste brand, in collaboration with Nigeria Dental Association, NDA, and FDA, has kicked off its school activation programme in primary schools across the nation to promote oral health education in Nigeria.
The school activation programme titled ‘Pepsodent Brush Day and Night School Programme’ is targeted at educating and reaching a minimum of 2,000,000 pupils between the age of six and 11 in six states that include Lagos, Rivers, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, and Edo.
Speaking during the kick-off of the activation programme held at St. Saviour Primary School in Lagos, Marketing Head, Beauty and Wellbeing and Personal Care, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Oiza Gyang, noted that the oral hygiene programme has been designed to engage children in primary schools for the next three months after which students will be rewarded for their full participation.
Speaking on the mechanism of the 21-day challenge, Gyang stated that the activation would happen five days a week while the activation team would return after 21 days to reward students who complete the challenge.
Studies have shown that behavioural change happens 21 days after repeated action. Oral conditions are among the world’s most widespread chronic diseases. In Nigeria, it is the leading cause of absenteeism among school children.
“The whole idea about this challenge is to encourage young kids to imbibe the habits of good oral behavior. As you are aware, Oral health is critical to any individual’s well-being and productivity. We are passionate about families and children, and we believe that complete oral protection for the family is achievable. We believe that with this activation and the level of awareness we are creating, a lot of young pupils would see the significance of having good oral hygiene,” she said.
She further stressed that the activation programme aims to encourage oral behavioral change among young school kids, which would lead to their general well-being and good quality of life.
According to her, the goal of the activation programme is to reach as many children as possible with the critical message of brushing twice daily with Pepsodent Triple Protection to protect against cavities and ensure fresh breath and white teeth.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Category Manager, Oral Care, Pepsodent, Eva Ogudu, stated that Unilever as a company remains a force for good in the quest to entrench a culture of oral hygiene that would consequently lead to the overall well-being of Nigerians.
Ogudu noted that the activation is being carried out in line with the mission of spreading outstanding oral health around the world such that people can unlock the power of their smiles.
She further stated that the company’s ambitious target is to reach 10 million children by 2025, disclosing that the campaign has reached over 6 million school children nationwide.
In his remarks, the Chairman, the Nigerian Dental Association, Lagos Chapter, Dr. Oluwole Olusanya stressed the need for parents and caregivers to inculcate the habits of regular brushing of teeth among their children relatively early to keep bacteria under control and consequently prevent oral infections such as tooth decay or gum diseases.
Olusanya noted that failure to take care of one’s oral health could have a profound negative effect on other parts of the body and result in severe health conditions.
Globally, Pepsodent has been at the forefront of driving behavioral change in oral health. Over the past seven years, Pepsodent has educated over 6 million children in Nigeria on the importance of brushing daily with free products and oral kits to encourage the habit.
In Nigeria, Pepsodent toothpaste has been at the forefront of celebrating and owning the occasion with several activities such as the Schools Programme, Mobile Dental Clinics, Oral Health Education Conferences, and various consumer education and engagement across digital and traditional platforms.