(Members of Philippine Health Dental Association –Pampanga Chapter led by its President Dr. Arnold Gulapa and Dra. Joseline Ponio, head of the Diosdado Macapagal Memorial Hospital (DPOMM) Ancillary Department pose during the dental kits distribution and fluoride applications among day care children at Guagua Central Elementary school. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)
GUAGUA, Pampanga – At least 1,900 day care children from the different villages here benefitted from the dental kits and fluoride application, given on Tuesday at Guagua Central Elementary School.
The distribution was led by Dra Joseline ‘Jing’ Mascarenas Ponio, head of the Ancillary Department of Diosdado P. Macapagal Memorial Hospital (DPMMH).
She was joined by the DPMMH’s staff, members of the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) – Pampanga Chapter led by Dr. Arnold Gulapa, Guagua Mayor Dante Torres and Marybeth Ortiz, head of the municipal social welfare and development office (MSWDO).
Dra Jing concurrent provincial dental supervisor said that the DPMMH is regularly doing the activity for last eight years and has been formed part of their community extension program.
“We are doing this for eight years already with the guidance of Governor Lilia G. Pineda and Vice Governor Dennis ‘Delta’ Pineda. It is also part of the social responsibility of DPMMH to the people of Guagua as the district hospital is situated in this town,” she said.
Prior to this, the daycare children beneficiaries here underwent pre-screening and dental checkup to assess their oral fitness.
They also distributed Colgate toothbrushes to day care children for the first phase of Oral Dental Check Ups.
“The second phase is fluoride applications and the 3rd phase will be the curative treatment such as tooth extraction and restoration which is ordinarily being done at Diosdado Hospital,” she said.
Dra. Jing said World Population shows that only sixty percent (60%) of the children has access to oral care. Seven out of 10 Filipinos and 20 percent of six years old children never been to dentist.
“This is the reason why 87% of Filipinos and 78 percent of 12 year old children suffer from tooth decay. Seventy-four percent (74%) of the 12 year old chidren has gingivitis because of poor oral hygiene. Aside from the 98% of the 3-5 year old chidren has dental cavities,” Dra. Jing disclosed.
She added that tootache is the most common ailment of children and it is the primary cause of absenteeism among school children.
For her part, said MSWD Officer Ortiz said she was thankful that they chose the day care children of Guagua as beneficiaries of the program.
“We are closely coordinating with the parents of the Daycare children to raise awareness not only in dental health but also their overall welfare,” she added.