According to the World Health Organization (WHO), proper oral health is essential to a person’s overall health and the prevention of disease. The National Program on Oral Health in Mongolia states that 83.9% of children under age six are diagnosed with oral cavities, 90-92% of whom need immediate treatment.
In May 2015, FIRE, in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar, the School of Dentistry of Mongolian National University of Medical Science (MNUMS), and the National Center of Public Health, completed a pilot project to improve oral health among kindergarten-aged children.
This program currently targets impoverished kindergartners in Ulaanbaatar. Activities include an assessment of the children’s oral health, teaching the students proper oral health practices, and distributing supplies such as educational videos and booklets, toothbrushes and calendars for tracking their teeth brushing routines. All children have their teeth treated and fixed.
It also includes creating a supportive environment for children to brush their teeth, through outreach and training of parents and teachers. A complete teaching toolkit is given to each school in the program so that they can continue to teach the children proper oral hygiene. Toolkits include: a Velcro teaching apron, cartoons, booklets, and many interactive teach aids.