Africa will be next continent for mercury-free dentistry, say NGO leaders

“Africa can be next for mercury-free dentistry,” claims Dr. Gilbert Kuepouo of the African Centre for Environmental Health.

Dr. Kuepouo, who leads Centre de Recherche et d’Education pour le Développement (CREPD) in Yaoundé, overviewed the map: “Already, we see these success stories in each of the five regions of our great continent: in Central Africa, Gabon is amalgam-free. In East African, Tanzania has an end date by law for amalgam use. In North Africa, Tunisia ended amalgam for children and, too, in the south, children no longer receive dental amalgam in Mauritius and Zambia.“Nigeria is poised to act in 2024,” said Tom Aneni of Sustainable Environment Development Initiative, Edo State.  “Africa’s population giant has reached consensus from all major stakeholders that amalgam use must end.  Consumers and NGOs from across Nigeria’s regions are clamouring for action.”
“The momentum for mercury-free dentistry in Francophone Africa is exciting,” said Maimouna Diéne of Pesticide Action Network Africa in Dakar. “We NGOs did a regional workshop last year in Togo, and now we work synergistically across West and Central Africa. Senegal is the model state in African for the WHO amalgam project – we will show the world that Senegal is ready to phase out amalgam on a timetable.”Charlie Brown, President, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, praised the “leapfrog strategy” of Africans.

“The dental mercury lobby in Geneva cannot block Africa’s direct leap to mercury-free dentistry. Africa won’t make the mistake that Europe and America did of doing universal mercury fillings first,” he said.

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