New York, December 14, 2009 – Grenada’s Consul General in New York is impressed that Grenadians of all political persuasions are banding together to support a planned nation-wide oral health survey and clinical dental outreach program.
The program, scheduled to begin in mid-January, will be conducted by a team from New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry, and will cover schools in each parish in Grenada, as well as in Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
NYU has made an initial commitment to run the program for four years, and says that next month’s exercise in Grenada will also include “administering dental care, performing surgical procedures and cleanings to the local population – children, working men and women, at no cost to anyone.’’
The project has the backing of the Grenada Ministries of Education and Heath, with government to provide housing, meals and land transportation for the NYU visitors.
NYU is purchasing the airline tickets for its team members and providing all the necessary dental supplies and equipment.
In order to defray other expenses associated with the program, Grenadians in New York have embarked on a series of fundraising event, including a banquet held last Sunday, December 13.
Consul General Derrick James, in the featured address at the banquet, thanked NYU for choosing Grenada as a beneficiary of the university’s dental outreach program. He also commended Grenadians for setting aside their political differences in the interest of nation building.
“Right now it’s about building our country,’’ he said. “I look forward to your continuing support. My office is always opened. Let’s continue to build the beautiful nation of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.’’
Since initial discussions of the program began last year, NYU officials – and some of the Grenadian-New Yorkers piloting it-have visited Grenada for meetings with representatives of the education and health sectors, including Health Minister Sen. Ann Peters.
Grenadian Gracelyn Harris, an NYU employee who first sought the university’s involvement in Grenada, said she is always keen to give back to the people of Grenada.
“Our people are very important to us,’’ she said at Sunday’s event, which included live entertainment.
Ms. Harris and other members of “Concerned Grenadians of New York’’ – the main organisers of the banquet – met Education Minister Senator Franka Bernardine at a community meeting in Brooklyn on Monday and presented her with US$1,800.
The money, representing the proceeds from Sunday’s event, is to be used as a deposit for the accommodation of the NYU team that is scheduled to arrive in Grenada January 16. An individual donation of US$500 was also contributed to the cause by Grenada-born Brooklyn school principal, Rudolph Cyrus.
The NYU College of Dentistry says the goal of the program is to “create a sustainable oral health model for Grenada by working with the existing infrastructure, incorporating preventive measures nationwide, and providing dental treatments as necessary.’’
The university also promises to “provide parent education about the importance of oral hygiene, age-appropriate oral hygiene instruction for patients, and ask schools to implement a daily tooth-brushing program in classrooms.’’