Strategies for sustainability of the project in COVID 19 scenario:
School being the best holistic learning ambience for children, serves good for learning about oral health and practicing healthy oral habits as well. As the COVID 19 pandemic has posed a greatest threat of spreading with mass gatherings, schools are being closed with the wake of safeguarding the children from getting potentially infected. Hence there is an urge for a paradigm shift of physical schooling to digital schooling and remote learning, in order to continue the curricular activities of the children. To ensure the sustained Oral health promotion of the children, which is the prime goal of the project, we keep connecting with the school authorities to ensure the facilitation of the oral health needs of the children as a need of the hour.
The school where the project “Smile bright with habits right – every child deserves it”, is being in existence, is a residential school and has around 100 children. Among them 50 are residential children and there are also another 50 children who come from their own houses. The residential children are being monitored, by the Teachers and the Principal of the school, for their curriculum as well as personal hygiene habits, in turn healthy oral habits as we have trained them to be our Second team leaders in the project. The school also has the capacity to organize online classes with gadgets and internet connectivity being all-encompassing. Supervised online sessions are planned to monitor Peer Oral Health education sessions where the senior children are equipped to motivate the junior children to brush twice a day, avoid sugary food, rinse mouth after every meal, and report to the team leader when the child fails to perform any of the healthy oral behavior.
To connect and monitor the day scholar students is challenging, as only 20 children are being accessible and are technically equipped with android smart phones. The remaining 30 day scholars who are not within digital reach, require attention too. We are planning to obtain their residential address form the school register and establish correspondence to share the oral health curriculum contents and also to monitor their oral health well-being, collaborating with the school administration wing. With their telephone numbers if available, they can be contacted to know about their capacity to connect in an online session. With Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures for the Online teaching of Oral health curriculum developed, the school will have a self-sustained system in existence.