Signal sina bo wewa: a phenomenal success
Signal, Unilever’s iconic oral healthcare brand that celebrates a long and historic journey of 55 years, has been driving one of the country’s most successful and unique outreach programs held to date, Sina Bo Wewa, in association with the Sri Lanka Dental Association (SLDA).
“It is a unique initiative with a larger purpose of creating a cavity free nation and protecting the Sri Lankan smile” says Mr Siddharth Banerjee, Marketing Director of Unilever Sri Lanka, “ It is widely considered to be the most far reaching and successful oral health care outreach programs in the country.”
A repeatable model
The 20th Signal Sina Bo Weva Dental Camp was held on 22nd June at Katugastota Sri Rahula College ground; there were large crowds enthusiastic about participating in such an innovative event. Over 30,000 people were able to obtain first hand information, advice and treatment on oral health and people were given free dental screenings and oral check ups by the dentists of the SLDA.
Tooth decay in children who do not use fluoridated tooth paste as recommended by dentists all over the world, can affect their oral health for life. “Sina Bo Wewa as an initiative took off in 2004 and to date, we have reached over 1Mn people who have participated in the initiative while 60,000 have received treatment for various dental issues and over 1,700 national schools have derived a direct benefit from the programme.” Mr Banerjee further adds.
In protecting the Sri Lankan smile, Sina Bo Wewa has indeed reached a record number of Sri Lankans with a strong and powerful message of the benefits of good oral health care ; often delivered utilizing interesting elements such as games and activities, encouraging and empowering rural communities towards maintaining sound oral health care regimes.
Building strong partnerships
In a partnership that spans over several decades, Signal has been working with the Sri Lanka Dental Association ( SLDA) in presenting multi-faceted programmes of dental care to the community. Of these, Sina Bo Wewa holds a distinctive position as one of the most well received oral health care outreach projects among the community.
“The uniqueness of the Sina Bo Wewa initiative is the manner in which it reaches communities often without access to proper dental facilities. Leading up to the Signal Sina Bo Wewa 20th Dental Camp, 15 key towns and communities were activated creating awareness and encouraging people to participate.
An art competition on the theme “ Towards a Cavity Free Sri Lanka” was held for children in schools of the area. The response was over whelming with over 5000 entries and the winners of the competition and their schools were rewarded.” Says Ms Wathsala Aluthgedera Category Head – Oral Care at Unilever Sri Lanka.
“Partnering Signal at the Sina Bo Weva event was Dialog Axiata with guru.lk which provides educational services. Janashakthi Insurance Company also came forward to give away free accidental covers for participants.” She adds.
An innovative approach
Signal pioneered fluoridated toothpaste in 1984; over the years, the available dental data records have confirmed a significant reduction of over 40% in the cavities of children in Sri Lanka. “ The importance of brushing your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste that provides protection from cavities is conveyed adequately at Sina Bo Wewa. For children, whose changed dental habits can save their teeth, are especially encouraged to be active in developing good oral health habits at these initiatives.” Ms Aluthgedera reiterates.
Sina Bo Wewa is indeed unique and innovative because the entire outreach is presented with a strong local flavor that endears the initiative to the people of the area.
“ One of our key areas has been encouraging night time brushing that can make a major difference in dental health. We also teach correct brushing habits and encourage children to participate in demonstrations that teach them sound oral health habits. Samples of toothbrushes and toothpaste were given to all participants at the event and Dental students of the Peradeniya Dental Faculty educated them on the correct brushing techniques” Says Mr Sumudu Thanthirigoda Senior Brand Manager Signal.
As the leader within the oral care market in Sri Lanka, Signal will continue its social mission of uplifting oral health care standards in the country in taking Sri Lanka towards a cavity free nation.
258 M. Vincent Perera Mw
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