With support from Dr. Myron Wentz, groups plan ambitious African campaign for mercury-free dentistry

Campaign efforts by non-governmental organisations (NGO) towards an end to amalgam use in Africa has received a boost with the full funding support for its activities in 2024 by the North American scientist and philanthropist, Dr. Myron Wentz.

Griffins Ochieng
Griffins Ochieng, Eastern and Southern African campaign coordinator for the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry

In the last seven years, Dr Wentz has supported campaigners under the aegis of World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry (WAMFD) to sensitise governments, dental practitioners and key stakeholders in several African countries to end amalgam use.

Buoyed by this support, the group is planning a major offensive to drive dental amalgam use from the continent even as NGO leaders across the continent praised Dr. Myron Wentz for his decision to continue fully funding this continental-wide campaign.

Griffins Ochieng of the Centre for Environment Justice and Development, Nairobi, Kenya who is also the Eastern and Southern African campaign coordinator for the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry said that, with the support from Dr Wentz, the group can proceed boldly in 2024 with campaign across the continent.

He went further, “Because Dr. Wentz believes in us and our campaign goal for a mercury free dentistry, we can proceed boldly in 2024 with our campaign across this great continent.”

Elated Ochieng added, “Nations in the East Africa Community recognise amalgam is a tooth-unfriendly polluting colonial transplant whose use must be stopped.”

Corroborating him, Thelma Munhequete of Mozambique, country manager, Africa Foundation For Sustainable Development, said, “Nations across the Southern Africa Development Council are shifting to mercury-free dentistry – our campaigns, with full funding from Dr. Wentz, will accelerate that shift.”

Papy Mbala Mola of Kinshasa, with the African Green Society, expressed optimism and enthusiasm with the campaign for mercury-free dentistry in Central Africa.  “Gabon has transitioned to mercury-free dentistry, and elsewhere in this region we see major progress.  Thank you Dr. Wentz,” he said.

Kwame Ofori of AKO Foundation, Ghana, noted that the World Alliance has NGO partners across seven West Africa nations working hard for mercury-free dentistry. “Partnering with Dr. Wentz, we have the momentum to banish amalgam from our continent.”

Charlie Brown, president of the Washington-based World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, noted that this powerhouse coalition has a team of 30 NGOs across the length and breadth of Africa.

“Just as Europe has banned amalgam, we see Africa as the coming force to do the same,” he said. “These seven-years of full funding by Dr. Myron Wentz has made such a favorable impact for the world’s second largest continent.”

The WAMFD is working to phase out amalgam use worldwide through measures that include: set national objectives; raise public awareness; update dental curricula; modify insurance and government programme and end use in children and pregnant women.

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