Children’s Global Oral Health Initiative

President's Global Innovation Fund
Columbia Global Centers | Africa

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), “the burden of oral disease is growing rapidly in several countries due to transitions in diet, lifestyle and above all, a lack of access to care. Many children in developing nations needlessly suffer from pain, discomfort and related disability which is largely preventable and certainly treatable.” Oral health is an integral part of general health and essential to quality of life. In light of this global trend, there is an urgent need for a sustainable and innovative oral health program that can serve as a model for health promotion and disease prevention while adapting to the socio-cultural conditions of the region. 

Shantanu Lal, Associate Professor of Dental Medicine; Director, Predoctoral Program in Pediatric Dentistry

The aims and components of this project are:

  1. Utilization of affordable technology such as Teledentistry to reach millions of underserved populations.
  2. Global Health Externships are formal programs at CDM and P&S that lead teams of CUMC Physicians, Dentists and students to remote parts of the world for the delivery of basic oral and general health care. Such integral experiences also enrich the educational aspect of our mission.
  3. Sustainability Training for rural mid-level healthcare providers.
  4. Research, Continuing Education and Fund Raising. The goal here is to network with regional universities and identify needs and collaborations that serve all. The CU development offices and our corporate partners are established resources for funding such projects.


President’s Global Innovation Fund Helps Launch Teledentistry Project in Kenya, Feb. 5, 2014