CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care

U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, showcases proper teeth brushing techniques on a dental typodont during an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. With demonstrations such as these, the team is accomplishing a Civil Affairs core task of building partnerships and relationships with local populations that will assist the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in its efforts to achieve security and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince) CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, showcases proper teeth brushing techniques on a dental typodont during an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. With demonstrations such as these, the team is accomplishing a Civil Affairs core task of building partnerships and relationships with local populations that will assist the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in its efforts to achieve security and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince)
Children use dental typodonts during an oral hygiene demonstration at Caritas Djibouti, a humanitarian organization in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. In support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security and stability, the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted multiple oral hygiene instruction classes for approximately 60 children from the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince) CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care Children use dental typodonts during an oral hygiene demonstration at Caritas Djibouti, a humanitarian organization in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. In support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security and stability, the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted multiple oral hygiene instruction classes for approximately 60 children from the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince)
U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, watches as a young girl demonstrates proper teeth brushing techniques on a dental typodont during an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. With demonstrations such as these, the team is accomplishing a Civil Affairs core task of building partnerships and relationships with local populations that will assist the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in its efforts to achieve security and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince) CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, watches as a young girl demonstrates proper teeth brushing techniques on a dental typodont during an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. With demonstrations such as these, the team is accomplishing a Civil Affairs core task of building partnerships and relationships with local populations that will assist the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in its efforts to achieve security and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince)
A child uses a dental typodont to practice teeth-brushing techniques during an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. In support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security, stability and prosperity, the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted multiple oral hygiene instruction classes for approximately 60 children from the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince) CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care A child uses a dental typodont to practice teeth-brushing techniques during an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. In support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security, stability and prosperity, the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted multiple oral hygiene instruction classes for approximately 60 children from the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince)
U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, shows children a tube of toothpaste during a dental demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. With demonstrations such as these, the team contributes to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security, stability and prosperity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince) CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, shows children a tube of toothpaste during a dental demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. With demonstrations such as these, the team contributes to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security, stability and prosperity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince)
A child uses a dental typodont to count the number of teeth in an average 7-year-old mouth during an oral hygiene demonstration at Caritas Djibouti, a humanitarian organization in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. In support of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security and stability, the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted multiple oral hygiene instruction classes for approximately 60 children from the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince) CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care A child uses a dental typodont to count the number of teeth in an average 7-year-old mouth during an oral hygiene demonstration at Caritas Djibouti, a humanitarian organization in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8, 2017. In support of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s efforts to promote regional security and stability, the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted multiple oral hygiene instruction classes for approximately 60 children from the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince)

DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti— “Does anyone know what this is used for?” U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace asked while holding a toothbrush. 

Without pause, children in the room made motions as if brushing their teeth with an invisible toothbrush.

That’s right,” confirms Wallace. “This is used to brush your teeth.” 

In a classroom filled with dozens of children, members of the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8.

The Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team includes medical doctors, veterinarians, nurses, dentists, medics, environmental science experts, and other medical specialists.  This robust medical capability uniquely positions Civil Affairs to deliver and share clinical, educational and administrative expertise throughout various regions in the Horn of Africa, ultimately building trust and friendships with the local population.

Using dental models called typodonts, as well as toothbrush and toothpaste samples, Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, conducted two classes in which he demonstrated proper brushing procedures and methods. This included allowing the children to get involved by showcasing what they learned.

“During initial assessments, we observed that there may be a lack of dental care among the youth that frequent Caritas Djibouti,” said Wallace. “As a result, we developed a block of instruction that would provide the children with the education and supplies needed for effective oral hygiene care.”

Caritas Djibouti is a humanitarian organization that contributes emergency aid and education to the inhabitants of Djibouti, mostly to children living on the street.

The two classes spanned nearly 30 minutes each, reinforcing to about 60 children who participated the necessity of preventive oral health care.

“Prevention is the best medicine,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Owen, a comprehensive dentist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team. “What we’re trying to do is give them the tools and supplies so that they can avoid tooth pain, decay and infection. That is more effective than waiting until an infection happens, and then treating it.”

After each class, the children left with their own personal oral hygiene kit that included a toothbrush and toothpaste. Now, better equipped to take care of their smiles, they each filed out of the room sporting one—confirming the course’s success.

“The impact of what was done today doesn’t just end with these children,” said Owen. “The positive perceptions that they now have of the U.S. military members and Americans will stay with them and can be passed along to others that they interact with as well.

Tags

Djibouti 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion medical CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs education Caritas Djibouti City children dental care

We suggest

CJTF-HOA civil affairs veterinarians assist in diminishing animal disease, overpopulation in Djibouti

The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa’s 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion (CAB) Functional Specialty Group (FXSP) veterinarians spayed, dewormed and immunized the cats of Caritas Djibouti here, Aug 30.

U.S. Marines strengthen Djiboutian Army by leading joint bilateral academy course in Africa

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably one of the most revered institutions within the U.S. Department of Defense. So, when Combined Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) leadership recently welcomed members of the Djibouti Armed Forces (FAD) into the U.S. Marine Corps Corporals Course, it was a distinct honor.

U.S., Japanese, French, Italian militaries partner for first multilateral NEO exercise in Africa

Initiated by the Japanese military, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) supported a joint-nation noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO) exercise and training here, Sept. 29.