SoulGives is directing an 18-24 month program in Cozumel to educate 5,000 children and adults about effects of frequent sugar consumption and to teach them proper dental hygiene. We seek donations to fund dental products and educational materials, and then sponsor follow-up treatment from local dentists for those needing special care.
Mexico has the highest per capital consumption of sugared drinks in the world. Parents often feed infants sugared drinks daily and typically this behavior will continue into adulthood. Consequently, it is not unusual for Mexican children to consume more Coca Cola than water every day. Combine this with bad dental hygiene and oral problems easily occur.
Parents in poverty often cannot pay for dental treatment. If a child ends up with cavities and tooth pain, the parent will choose the less expensive option and pay for the tooth to be extracted, even for the children that have permanent teeth. Teaching children the dangers of long-term consumption of sugar and the correct dental hygiene will stop many dental issues. This project will cover the majority of elementary-age children and should cross over to all children and parents on the island
We are confident that not only will the program significantly alleviate severe dental issues, but it will help two other prevalent health problems in Mexico, obesity and diabetes. More than 70% of Mexicans are obese. Diabetes is now the fifth largest killer in the country and has a consistent 20 yearly rise. The devastating effects of these conditions can be mitigated simply with better nutrition to decrease sugar intake, but it must have a component of educating the children.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).