Mercury-Free Dentistry


Public Awareness & Policy Advocacy for Phase out mercury dental amalgam throughout the South Asia

All countries; from developed to developing and under-develop to economic in-transition are faced with the common challenge of providing safe, quality and affordable healthcare. With this, the priority of the dental care ignored by the developing and under developing nations. The idea of mercury free dentistry still just has had in very little in professional level only. Therefore as the relationship between human health and environmental pollution or degradation be-come increasingly clear, so global nations need to be aware and consider this dimension. According to the national perspective no initiative has been carried out on dental amalgam in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and India. ESDO is the pioneer organization of Bangladesh of awareness creation on harmful effects of Hg dental amalgam. However, that initiative was covered in small scale.

As Global Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry have had international interventions, though it need to create effective global impact for awareness and policy advocacy. As an environmental organization ESDO focused it intervention on human health and environment as high priority area. It’s continues study findings prevail that mercury dental Amalgam is the cause of contamination of soil, water and air. But this is not properly address in the public awareness campaign. So, ESDO believe it is high time to refine our approach and find the appropriate media to disseminate this information and a clear message of the consequences and the remedy.

Mercury treaty is now on the table and to be signed the document by October 2013, and going enforce immediately. So, this is the high time to inform the people and boost up the policy makers to implement the treaty. By population Asia is a largest continent and the south Asia is the huge populated region and India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan are the major populated countries in this region and vulnerable in terms of chemical and environmental pollution. That is why; our focus intervention is this region. ESDO maintains very good relationship with other countries as it worked with partner organizations of India and Nepal. Moreover, Bhutan and Pakistan are informed about ESDO achievements in plastic waste management, e-waste management in Bangladesh and its global interventions. Therefore, ESDO can able to carry out the proposed project in this region.

Why Audio-visual media

Information carries a message and communicates the message is very important, but medium of communication is most important; it has had accepted that the audio-visual messaging is the most effective and easy to communicate to the audience. So, audio-visual message and information on hg dental amalgam can create significant impact to the global societies and the policy change.

Therefore, this way of intervention will create countrywide mass awareness about Hg free dentistry in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and West Bengal & Assam of India as well as the globe and help to prepare a policy guideline and encourage global government to formulate a policy on use, sale and import of Hg dental amalgam and protection of human health and environment. Moreover, through this project one or more countries of this region will become a role model for other LDCs/developing countries to initiate such awareness raising activities and stop use of Hg dental amalgam through phase-out mechanism.

Objectives

  • Create mass awareness and policy guideline for mercury free dentistry in South Asia
  • To disseminate information and massage to create mass awareness on harmful effects of Hg dental amalgam
  • Mass awareness through consultation, rally, film show, school awareness, media campaign
  • Visualise the impact of mercury dental amalgam on human health and environment
  • Inform to the audience on safe and affordable alternatives
  • To develop a guideline for management and recovery of Hg dental amalgam
  • Push-up the policy framework for phase-out mercury dental amalgam, and implement the treaty regionally
  • Develop/create at least one dental hospital/clinic as mercury free dentistry in each country
  • Develop and declare a model country (mercury free dentistry) in this region (possibly Bhutan and/or Bhutan)

Activities

 Public awareness (Bangladesh)

Five public awareness open forum in Dhaka and Chittagong, Rangpur, Khulna and Sylhet city of Bangladesh will be conducted. Main target groups will be student, teacher, local elite, paediatrician, dentist, journalist, gynaecologist, rural dental practioners and public representative. Video documentary will be shown in workshop as discussion of key massage. IEC material will be distributed among participants. News release will be published in different news papers. Events activities will be publish / broadcast through social media like twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

2.2. Mass awareness through consultation, film show, school awareness, media campaign

2.2.1. Prepare a multimedia based video documentary

Produce a 7-10 minute video based documentary on Hg dental amalgam and its impact on human health and environment. Documentary will focus on health and environmental effects of Hg dental amalgam and its remedial measures. Expert’s opinion of Hg dental amalgam will also be included in the documentary.

Documentary will include the following aspects:

Hg dental amalgam usage in dentistry, country situation of Hg dental amalgam, victim’s interview, dentist’s opinion, health hazards of dental amalgam, doctor’s opinion, environmental hazards of Hg dental amalgam, experts’ opinion, remedial measures, and management strategies.

** Documentary will be bilingual (English, Bangla, Urdu, Nepalese narration/subtitle)

  • Telecast the documentary

Documentary will be telecast/broadcast through TV channels, social media; like Facebook, twitter, YouTube, website, online newspaper, magazine etc. Through this media national, regional and international target groups will become aware.

  • Organize mobile campaign

Five day long mobile campaign will be conducted in five regions (South East, South West, North East, North West and Central) of Bangladesh. IEC materials will be distributed among passerby, signature taken from them.

  • School awareness through rally

Five school awareness campaigns will be organized in five regions of Bangladesh.

  • Media workshop/orientation

Half-day media orientation on the issue: target participants of this workshop/orientation will be representative of Newspaper, TV & Radio channel.

  • Develop a guideline for management and recovery of Hg dental amalgam
  • Develop a policy guideline for environmentally safe management and recovery mechanism of mercury based dental amalgam
  • Policy intervention for adoption of mercury phase out from dentistry
  • Media campaign (through event, press release, electronic information material distribution, SMS and online)
  • Policy dialogue (will be continued from previous initiatives with officials, policy makers, and law makers)
  • Petition to the Prime Minister (will develop jointly with consumer for dental choice and sent to Prime Minister at end of this action)
  • Organize a workshop for finalizing the policy: Draft policy guideline will be finalized with the participation of govt., expert, civil society, and media personnel and so on.
  • Develop/create at least one dental hospital/clinic as mercury free dentistry in each country
  • Through motivation, consultation, alternative sourcing, linkage and policy adaptation.
  • Develop and declare a model country (country of mercury free dentistry) in this region (possibly Bhutan and/or Nepal)
  • Throughout the above-up activities, closely working with policy makers and public intervention


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