Foto: Mike Kollöffel
DENTAL CARE IN GUATEMALA
We work to improve the health, education, and well-being of underprivileged children in Guatemala through a school-based educational project on preventive dental care and daily toothbrushing.
There is a massive need for better dental health among children in this Central American country. Our preliminary examination of children’s dental health in Guatemala, conducted in 2019, revealed that 95% had cavities, and 38% of children suffered from toothaches. Lack of knowledge about dental health, poor toothbrushing habits, and high sugar intake contribute to many impoverished children in Guatemala living with tooth pain. This leads to poor well-being, high school absenteeism, and a bleak future.
Therefore, we work at our project schools and among parents, teachers, and local authorities to educate and raise awareness about dental health and incorporate daily toothbrushing into the school schedule. The project’s focus is on developing educational materials about better dental health for teachers, parents, and students in the small town of Rabinal, located in the mountainous Baja Verapaz province. The project is locally anchored in 14 schools, where around 4.800 children participate. Over half of the children and adults in Rabinal belong to the Maya-Achí population – hence, some educational materials are developed in two languages: Spanish and Maya-Achí.
Fotos: Mike Kollöffel
The project in Guatemala is supported by DANIDA funds through CISU – Civil Society in Development – and is a citizenship project. It is implemented by the organization PRODESSA, which has over 30 years of experience in local development and improving the quality of education in the country’s public schools in collaboration with the Guatemalan Ministry of Education.