The 100,000 Smiles Project
Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Primary care
SummaryA community dental health initiative dedicated to improving acces to affordable dental healthcare and promotion of modern oral hygiene methods in rural and under-served communities of Northern Nigeria through enlightenment campaigns,dental outreaches and distribution of oral hygiene accessories.
1. Improving availability of relevant dental health information that would help transform the attitude and behavior of people in rural communities to a more preventive-oriented one.
2. Ensuring people in rural communities have easier access to more restorative and preventive dental healthcare to reduce the impact of prevalent poorly-equipped, poorly staffed primary health care facilities or unaffordable healthcare in private facilities.
3. Ensure that at least 100,000 people in our target communities have continued access to modern oral hygiene aids (toothbrushes, toothpaste) as a means to sustain our educative and prevention efforts.
Key program components
1. An innovative 30-minute weekly radio program reaching over 3million people (mostly in Peri-urban and rural communities) providing relevant dental health education and free on-air consultations. We consult with at least 5-10 patients on-air every week, receiving feedback via live calls or WhatsApp messenger. Some of the cases are referred to appropriate facilities for further care.
2. Rural dental visits to communities including internally displaced people (IDP) camps in North Eastern Nigeria. These visits include dental health awareness sessions, distribution of toothbrushes and toothpastes and also provision of basic dental care(sometimes provision of dentures for people with missing teeth).
3. Training of dental auxiliaries to equip them with necessary information and skills required to cater to the needs of populations where there is no dentist or functional dental equipment.
these components have been helpful in addressing the dental health issue in this part of Nigeria because they are designed to address unique challenges. The health awareness in this part of the country is very low compared to other parts . However almost every family possesses a radio and can be reached through this. The economic strength of th people in these communities is also low, and recently has been further diminished as a result of the general recession, insurgency in the North EAst and dwindling harvest due to climate change. Several people are unable to replace their toothpastes or even change their toothbrush when it is worn. As a result they go back to archaic methods including use of charcoal, salt, shrubs or rinsing with plain water. This has resulted in an increase in gum disease, infections and tooth loss, which is otherwise preventable.
80% of the primary health care facilities are not equipped to provide dental care. This that do have a dental clinic focus more on tooth extractions and not tooth conservation. This has increased the number of people who wait until the dental problem is complicated before they present on the dental clinic. Too many times they rely on traditional medication or drugs from the chemist to suppress the pain.
- The Smile ShopFor-profit