Tanzania to get toothpaste factory
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA— Chemi Cotex is setting up operations in Tanzania to make toothpaste and help improve oral health in the country.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dental caries and periodontal diseases have historically been considered the most important global oral health burdens. At present, the distribution and severity of oral diseases vary among different parts of the world and within the same country or region.
“Dental caries is still a major oral health problem in most industrialized countries, affecting 60-90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults. It is also a most prevalent oral disease in several Asian and Latin-american countries, while it appears to be less common and less severe in most African countries,” the WHO says.
Chronic diseases and injuries are the leading health problems in all but a few parts of the world.
The rapidly changing disease patterns throughout the world are closely linked to changing lifestyles, which include diets rich in sugars, widespread use of tobacco, and increased consumption of alcohol.
Oral diseases qualify as major public health problems owing to their high prevalence and incidence in all regions of the world, and as for all diseases, the greatest burden of oral diseases is on disadvantaged and socially marginalized populations.
Chemicotex s largest and bestknown brand is Whitedent toothpaste, which is used by more than 20 million Tanzanians every day
Chemicotex s largest and best-known brand is Whitedent toothpaste, which is used by more than 20 million Tanzanians every day.
The Whitedent brand, which is currently celebrating its 25th year, is the clear market leader in Tanzania and is also available in Rwanda, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa.
Beyond producing toothpaste for sale, Whitedent management has invested heavily in oral health promotion in Tanzania as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
Some of the activities under this include setting up special oral health camps in schools and special needs centers where specialists give free medical care and advice to the community on oral care best practices.
On World Oral Health week this year, for example, Whitedent conducted various oral health community activities in various schools in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Mbeya and Iringa.
During the week, oral health professionals provided oral health education, screened oral cavities and demonstrated tooth brushing to more than 2,000 children. These children were mostly those with special needs; children with albinism, orphans, the blind and those with hear- ing, physical and mental impairment.
At these schools oral health education was not only provided to the children but also to their guardians and teachers with the objective that they assist these children with their oral hygiene practices.
“Oral disease, infection and chronic pain desperately need to be addressed in these communities to enable people to work, attend school and care for their families,” comments Raja Swaminathan, Chief Operating Officer of Chemi Cotex.
In Morogoro region alone a total of 281 people were screened. Screening involved three primary schools (Magadu, Chamwino A and Chamwino B Primary schools) and two centers (MEHAYO centre for mentally handicapped children and Mgolole sister’s Orphanage Center).
Among the 281 children screened, a total of 174, almost 62% were diagnosed with several oral health problems such as dental caries, periodontal diseases, malocclusion, shedding of deciduous teeth and plaque. About 37% of the children had dental caries, 17.8% had gum or periodontal diseases and 7.1% had other dental diseases.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children especially in low-income, minority, and rural communities. The efforts being made by the government and the private sector like Chemi Cotex to bridge the unmet gap is crucial in shifting the tide. However, to the desired difference, more effort is needed and more participation required making sure oral health a priority in our country.
Whitedent celebrates 25 years of service in Tanzania this year and is proud that through its contribution to the community, over a million children have received oral education and treatment.
Whitedent continues to be a leading oral care brand in East Africa. In its home market, Tanzania, it is the market leader for over fifteen years in the Toothpaste segment. The brand is driven by a basket of variants catering to specific segments with focus on quality, availability and affordability.
OPEN: The Tanzania Doctors Association together with Whitedent held a dental clinic for special needs children at Buhangija in Shinyanga.