MANILA — The Department of Health’s (DOH) office in the Mimaropa region has distributed free dentures to indigent senior citizens in Odiongan municipality, Romblon province in celebration of “Elderly Filipino Week”.
“This is our way of expressing our gratitude to our elderlies for their sacrifices in safeguarding our generation by keeping us safe and healthy. (In return,) we give them health and protection so they would enjoy a more productive journey through life,” DOH-Mimaropa regional director Dr. Eduardo Janairo said in a news release issued Monday.
Under the “Ngipin para kay Tatang at Inang” project or “NgiTI”, vernacular for smile, DOH-Mimaropa gave away an initial 50 dentures to senior citizens identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as indigents, during an event held at the Romblon State University last October 7.
Janairo said PHP250,000 has been allocated for the project that targets old people who have difficulty chewing.
Measurements for the dentures were done a month ago by a team of dentists headed by Dr. Maria Gracia Gabriel, head of DOH-Mimaropa’s Oral Health Unit, in partnership with Romblon’s provincial health office, Odiongan’s municipal health office, and DSWD-Romblon.
During the event, dentists also provided the elderly pit oral prophylaxis, fluoride varnish, and restorative treatment procedures, gave each of them a hygiene kit, and taught them the proper care and use of dentures.
The senior citizens were also given free eyeglasses during a medical and eye checkup.
The project was part of DOH-Mimaropa’s Direct Oral Health Treatment Services to support the implementation of the oral health program at the local government level and to resolve the many dental conditions affecting the region’s vulnerable population — children aged 0-6 years, pregnant women, the elderly, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disability (PWD).
Janairo said the project would be brought to the marginalized areas of MIMAROPA so that every indigent senior citizen would have his/her own set of dentures.
During the event, he reminded the youth about the importance of oral health.
“We all only get one set of permanent teeth, so it is important to take care of them as we grow old by regularly brushing and flossing our teeth after every meal and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes dairy and high-fiber food,” he said.
Mimaropa covers the provinces of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.