Preserving the Smiles of the Future

Major Atul Gupta examines the teeth of one of the students.

Major Atul Gupta shows students at El Hebbariye Public School how to brush their teeth.

Major Atul Gupta explains the consequences of not taking care of one’s dental hygiene.

School children playing with the dental kit model after the demonstration.

"Preserving the smiles of the children in the South" dental health campaign provides dental care for free to students located in the Indian Battalion’s area of operations.

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13 Feb 2014

Preserving the Smiles of the Future

"Preserving the smiles of the children in the South" is the dental health campaign organized by the Indian battalion operating in the framework of UNIFIL for this year, starting on 8 February.

This dental campaign is part of the annual health campaigns held by the Indian battalion, which has to date provided dental treatment for 3024 persons through 306 campaigns carried out in 12 different towns located in the area of operations of the Indian battalion.

The term dental health might seem vague for the children, however, the dental health campaign held at the public school of Hibariyeh demonstrated the concept of correctly taking care of our dental and oral health, which was achieved through the active interaction between Major Atul Gupta, dental officer of the Indian battalion, and the students of the school, along with the use of appropriate illustrative means.

"I learned to brush my teeth twice per day, holding the brush properly without exerting much pressure on my gums", explained one student when asked about what she learned during the dental awareness campaign.

The students' understanding varied much and included statements such as "eating healthy food prepared by our mothers at home" or " stop buying candies and sugary stuff" or " having regular dental check-ups".

Lauding the role played by UNIFIL's Indian battalion in providing developmental projects for the school, Saeed Ibrahim, the director of the public school in Hibariyeh explained, "The dental health campaign consisted of the awareness campaign, dental check-ups for 70 students, distribution of dental hygiene kits, and concluding the day with a dog show to entertain the children".

"Students who have problems with their teeth can follow up their treatment at the dental clinics held by the Indian peacekeepers at the medical center located at the municipality of the town," added Mr. Ibrahim.

Detailing the kind of assistance offered by the Indian peacekeepers, Dr. Gupta pointed out that all dental treatment is provided for free, including dental implants, teeth filling and tooth extraction, but not surgeries.

When asked for the reason of staging such assistance, Major Apoorv Srivastava, the Civil-Military Cooperation officer expressed that "We care for the health of the children here because they are the future of Lebanon."



Article: Hiba Monzer
Video Editor: Mohamad Hamze
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Photo: Pascual Gorriz Marcos